Editor's Comment

Importance of Heroes, Unity days

THE country is coming out of the famous four days holiday.
To most people, this holiday, also known as the Trade Fair weekend, is designed for fun-making.
Most people take advantage of this weekend to go for holidays without really reflecting on its significance.
While October 24 is commemorated every year as the day which marked the dawn of a new era in our country’s political history when a black majority government was ushered into office, very few people take notice of the heroes and unity weekend.
Government set aside the first weekend of July as the period to remember and celebrate the achievements of our heroes.
Naturally, when people talk about heroes, what comes to mind are people who fought to bring independence to this country.
However, this country has produced heroes of different dimensions since Independence, who, besides freedom fighters, deserve to be recognised.
Many Zambians have worked hard not only to free the people of the country from colonial bondage but raised the country’s flag high at different platforms.
In the sports arena, the likes of Lottie Mwale, Chisanda Mutti, Samuel Matete, Kalusha Bwalya, Satwant Singh and club sides like Power Dynamos, Mufulira Wanderers, Nkana, the national soccer teams of 1974, 1984, 1994 and 2012 deserve mention.
There are also icons in trade unionism, arts, business, religion, farming, health, defence and security and several other sectors who also deserve mention.
These are men and women who advanced the causes and needs of Zambians by fulfilling their missions.
All these deserve recognition and are worthy to be considered heroes and have a place in Zambia’s history.
Therefore, Heroes Day is an occasion for honouring people who have served the country in various capacities.
Zambians ought to reflect Heroes Day with solemn pride in the heroism of those who served the country dilligently.
In Zambia, Heroes Day is supposed to be observed with appropriate ceremonies but has been overshadowed by the Zambia International Trade Fair.
We, therefore, agree with President Lungu, who said on Monday that the people of Malawi should reflect on the great strides the country has made after attaining political independence in 1964.
“More importantly, it should never be forgotten that the freedom the citizens enjoy today was born out of the great sacrifices and bloodshed of the many brave ordinary men and women who paid the ultimate price of life to liberate the country.
“That is why it is only befitting that we, who are here today, honour our fallen heroes by not only remaining steadfast in safeguarding the hard-earned independence, but by ensuring that the names of those great nationalists are rightly embedded in history books,” President Lungu said at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre during that country’s 51st independence celebrations.
Mr Lungu also reminded the people of Malawi not to forget to pay tribute to countries and individuals of goodwill who stood with that country in its valiant struggle for independence.
Similarly, Unity Day, which fell yesterday, is an opportunity for Zambians to continue fostering the unity and togetherness which the country has enjoyed for over 50 years.
Zambia’s unity is rallied around the motto ‘One Zambia, one nation,’ which has held the country’s over 73 tribes, diverse religions, political affiliations, creed and colour.
The day reminds us to continue living as one big, united family, being a brother’s keeper and tolerant of divergent views.

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