UAE to fall silent at 11.30am for Commemoration Day

First held in 2015, Commemoration Day is marked each year on November 30

FILE PHOTO: General view of Martyrs Memorial Park opposite Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Satish Kumar/File Photo
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UAE residents have been asked to observe one minute of silent prayer on Tuesday to mark Commemoration Day.

The Martyrs’ Families’ Affairs Office sent an SMS message on Monday asking people to take part in the act of remembrance at 11.30am.

First held in 2015, Commemoration Day is marked each year on November 30 and is an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements and sacrifices of those who dedicated themselves to protecting the Emirates at home and abroad.

November 30 was chosen because it was the date Salem Suhail bin Khamis died in 1971 fighting against Iranian forces on the island of Greater Tunb. He is thought to have been the first Emirati to be killed in military service after the formation of the UAE that year.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, established the MFAO to look after the families of martyrs.

In 2016, the Martyrs' Memorial was established in Abu Dhabi, directly opposite the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Wahat Al Karama, which means Oasis of Dignity, is a series of heavy grey slabs clad in aluminium, that lean against each other. They bear inscriptions including poetry written by Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father. Aluminium bricks in the pool area below, lit through chinks in the walls, bear the names of fallen soldiers.

The UAE has also established the Martyrs' Archives project and began building a museum to highlight the heroic actions of its fallen soldiers and officers.

Updated: November 29, 2021, 3:17 PM