DHAKA, March 26, 2017 (BSS) - The nation celebrated the 47th Independence and National Day today with a fresh vow to uphold the spirit of the Liberation War and build a "Sonar Bangla" as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On this auspicious occasion, glowing tributes were paid to the martyrs and veterans of the War of Liberation.
The National Memorial at Savar was the main venue of the celebration of the day where President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths in the early morning as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs.
President Hamid first placed wreaths at the altar of the memorial followed by the prime minister.
After placing the wreaths, the President and the prime minister stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs of the Great War of Liberation in 1971.
A smartly turned-out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force presented a state salute on the occasion, while the bugles played the last post.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, ministers, advisers, mayors of Dhaka North and South City Corporations, parliament members, chiefs of the three services, freedom fighters, foreign diplomats and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
Later, flanked by senior leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, laid wreaths at the National Memorial on behalf of her party.
On her return from the National Memorial at Savar, the prime minister paid homage to Father of the Nation by placing wreaths at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the capital.
After placing the wreaths, she stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memory of Bangabandhu, the architect of the independence.
Flanked by central leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, laid wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu on behalf of her party.
Awami League Advisory Council members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed, Presidium Members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Advocate Sahara Khatun, Engineer Mosharraf Hossain and Dr Abdur Razzak, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Food Minister Advocate Qamrul Islam, AL Joint Secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak were present on the occasion, among others.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and Deputy Speaker Advocate Fazley Rabbi Mian also paid tributes to Father of the Nation by placing wreaths at his portrait at Dhanmondi.
Besides, Families of Bir Shreshthas, war wounded freedom fighters, members of the diplomatic corps, leaders of different political parties, social, cultural and professional bodies and people from all walks of life also paid wreaths at the national memorial in the morning.
The Independence and National Day rally of children and Juveniles was held at Bangabandhu National Stadium this morning.
While addressing the rally, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the guardians and teachers to make concerted endeavors to build a generation of good moral character and integrity to prepare them taking future leadership of the country.
"We have to make united efforts so that our children get a better life, have good character and pursue study to become worthy citizens and take the future leadership of the country. Today's children will be the real citizens to take forward the country and materialize the dream of Bangabandhu," she said.
The prime minister witnessed the march past of smartly turned out units of school students and took salute. She also enjoyed attractive display of the school students on different themes on the War of Liberation.
The gallery of Bangabandhu National Stadium was tastefully decorated with portraits of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, four national leaders, Bir Shresthas, photographs of the prime minister and natural beauties of Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted all Freedom Fighters (FFs) of the country on the occasion of the 47th Independence and National Day.
Like the previous occasions, the premier sent flowers, fruits and sweetmeats to the war-wounded freedom fighters (FFs) at Martyred and War- wounded Freedom Fighters' Rehabilitation Centre (Muktijoddha Tower-1) on Gaznavi Road at Mohammadpur in the city as a mark of her good wishes for them.
Every year, March 26 brings the most tragic reminiscence of the history's blackest episode that heralded a nine-month bloody ordeal from the night following March 25, 1971 in achieving the long-cherished independence on December 16, the same year at the cost of a sea of blood.
In the wake of the military crackdown, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who became the undisputed leader of the then Pakistan following the massive victory of his party, Awami League, in the 1970 general elections, declared independence of Bangladesh through the then EPR (East Pakistan Rifles) wireless at 00-30 hours on March 26 (the night following March 25) in 1971 at his historic Road-32 residence at Dhanmondi here.
The great leader also called upon the people to build a strong resistance against the Pakistani barbaric occupation forces. The Pakistani military junta, in a bid to stop the legitimate movement of the Bangalees, arrested Bangabandhu on that night following his declaration of independence.
Later, Bangabandhu was taken to the then West Pakistan where he had to spend long nine months in a dark condemned cell.
According to Banglapedia, Bangabandhu wrote down the declaration of independence soon after the Pakistani army cracked down on the fateful night of March 25, 1971. The declaration of independence was soon put on air by wireless.
The declaration was first broadcast by Awami League leader MA Hannan from Kalurghat Radio Station in port city Chittagong on March 26, 1971.
The Pakistani military junta in their monstrous outburst unleashed a bloody holocaust breaking the silence of the night following March 25 in 1971 when they mercilessly killed hundreds of innocent sleeping Bangalees including teachers, students, police, soldiers, pedestrians and rickshaw- pullers here.
The nation soon launched the War of Liberation at the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the early hours of March 26.
Bangladesh emerged as an independent and sovereign state on December 16, 1971 with the surrender of the Pakistani occupied forces, who killed three million innocent Bangalees, perpetrated atrocities on 200,000 (two lakh) Bangalee women and burnt down lakhs of dwelling houses across the country during the nine-month war.
On the eve of the Independence Day yesterday, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages, calling upon the nation to uphold the spirit of the War of Liberation to fulfill the dreams of the valiant Freedom Fighters, who embraced martyrdom for the cause of their beloved motherland.
The day is a public holiday.
The national flag were flying atop all government and private buildings while all streets and important city intersections decorated with national and multi-coloured miniature flags and festoons.
National dailies brought out special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private radio stations and television channels are airing special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
Special prayers were offered at all mosques, temples, churches and other places of worship across the country seeking divine blessings for the eternal peace of the departed souls of Father of the Nation, four national leaders, martyrs of the War of Liberation and all other patriotic sons of the soil.