BBN Special

Everything you should know about Armed Forces Rememberance Day and why Nigeria celebrates it

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Leshi Adebayo

Every January is celebrated in honour of the fallen male and female soldiers who fought and bled for the freedom and unity of Nigeria. This day is called Armed Forces Rememberance Day.

As Nigeria marks this year’s commemoration, Blackbox Nigeria highlights facts about the celebration and why it is celebrated.

1. Also known as Rememberance Day, it was formerly celebrated annually on November 11 which is meant for the rememberance of the World War 1 veterans.

2. It was later changed to January 15 to remember the surrender of Biafran troops to the federal troops on January 15, 1970 after 30 months of fighting, marking an end to the Nigerian Civil War that sought to divide Nigeria.

3. The Armed Forces Rememberance Day is observed by every military personnel comprising of the Navy, Army, and Air Force, and the Nigerian Legion in different bases across the nation.

4. This celebration is held at the federal, state, and local levels by both serving military officers and ex-servicemen.

5. The highpoint of this event is the laying of wreath ceremony done by the President of Nigeria at the National Cenotaph in Abuja’s Eagle Square.

6. Across the 36 states of the federation are 36 federal cenotaphs which are places where special Armed Forces Rememberance Day ceremonies are held.

7. This year’s celebration marks the 52nd commemoration of the Armed Forces Rememberance Day in Nigeria’s history.

8. As part of activities lined up for the day, military personnel are usually kitted in diverse colors which symbolises their services to the nation be it Navy, Air Force, Army, or ex-servicemen.

The Significance of the Armed Forces Rememberance Day to Nigeria

1. It is a day set aside to remember the servicemen of the Nigerian Armed Forces who fought in World Wars 1 and 2 including the Nigerian Civil War.

2. It is celebrated to honour and remember the sacrifices of dead and living servicemen of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

3. This day is celebrated to appreciate the efforts of serving heroes, who continue to fight and lay down their lives to maintain the territorial integrity of the nation.

4. It is celebrated to observe certain military traditions such as release of pigeons to symbolize peace, laying of wreaths, playing of the last post, Remembrance Day parade, shooting of guns.

5. It is celebrated to support the families left behind by of these servicemen ensuring that they are well catered for.

All in all, this historic day is meant for sober reflection and rememberance of how far Nigeria has come as nation, as well as the need to appreciate and honour the freedom and unity bought with the pains and blood of these fallen and living heroes.

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