Eritrea celebrates its 28th Independence Anniversary with great patriotic zeal
by Billion Temesghen
Yesterday, Friday May 24th, the people of Eritrea celebrated the 28th Independence Anniversary with great patriotic zeal. After a week of celebrations nationwide, people gathered in thousands yesterday, at the Asmara Stadium, for the official Independence Day ceremony. In the afternoon hours, nationals from inside the country and abroad, tourists, invited guests, friends of Eritrea, diplomats, delegates and high ranking officials flocked to the venue of the official ceremony.
The light drizzling rain excited the partakers. Asmara, the “city above the clouds” was breathing a soft breeze of air to make the day even more spectacular. President Isaias Afwerki was last to arrive and the ceremony officially opened twenty minutes past four o’clock in the afternoon. The Commissioner of Sports and Culture, Ambassador Zemede Tekle, opened the ceremony with a greeting speech.
Ambassador Zemede Tekle explained that the commission’s plan while preparing for this year’s celebration was to exhibit Eritrea’s national identity. The months long preparations saw the participation of many professionals, as per the commissioner’s speech. Moreover, he thanked young artists for sharing their energy in the preparation and execution of a festive season.
The Commissioner then invited President Isaias Afwerki to deliver his keynote address to the people of Eritrea on the occasion of the 28th Independence Day Anniversary of the Eritrean people. In his speech, President Isaias, first conveyed his greetings to the people of Eritrea, thanked Eritrea’s friends for their companionship, appreciated everyone who contributed in the merriments of the season and welcomed the partakers of the official ceremony.
President Isaias went on to reiterate that the theme in which the 28th Independence Day Anniversary is being celebrated, “Resilience for Higher Progress”, suits most the nation’s current situation because it is the merit of the people’s lengthy and persistent resilience.
President Isaias then went on to elaborate how the strength of the people got the State of Eritrea this far against all odds. And now, he went on to say, in the new era the people’s drive should be more than ever for a resilient growth. President Isaias also mapped out some of the national plans the country is working on and will be working in the future in different development areas such as health, education, industrial, infrastructural, political diplomacies in the region, protecting the environment and others.
President Isaias concluded his speech with a special note of gratitude to those who devoted so much for the country; the Eritrean youth in the military.
The Eritrean Marching Band accompanied by a parade followed the speech of the president. Ululations and cheers from the partakers accompanied the parade who chanted this year’s anniversary motto, “Resilience for Higher Progress”.
A lively performance then followed. The performance that illustrated the people’s unity was prepared by 250 students. The performance featured poems with profound words that describe the importance of the day, short songs and exciting and expressive calisthenics routines. The songs and poems sang and recited in different native languages of Eritrea, were all of young actors and singers and only few senior artists took part in the show.
Unity, strength, altruism, patience, love, companionship, motherliness, fraternity were some of the values that resounded from the acts presented in the show.
The second part of the ceremony was recited by the show prepared by 3,400 students, 50 artists and teachers. The theme of their performance was “peace for joint progress”. The students, artists of the day, wore white gowns and beautifully danced routines that filled the stadium with youthful enthusiasm while, at some point, waving flags of the countries of the Horn of Africa.
The official ceremony concluded with the national anthem. The youth however, took the ‘after-party’ to the center stage!
This year’s Independence Anniversary is being celebrated in an era Eritrea has aspired to have since its liberation. Many years of patience paid-off and with the regional harmony Eritrea is enjoying now, more than ever, the country will prosper in its long envisioned national and social growth. The 28th Independence Day Anniversary defers from the previous ones as this is the first time in twenty years in which Eritrea is celebrating its Independence in full harmony. With the 28th Independence Day Anniversary, Eritrea hopes for national growth and regional stability; for the country and its people to prosper in peace and for the people of the Horn to flourish equally. Surely, after all they have been through, the people feel most deserving for the peace reigning in the region. That is what many participants told the media.
Happy 28th Independence Day Anniversary to the People and Government of Eritrea!!