President Sheikh Mohamed has said Commemoration Day is a time for the UAE to “remember with pride and gratitude” the sacrifices of soldiers who died in the line of duty.
The UAE leader hailed the contribution of the country's “brave sons and daughters” in a tribute shared on social media.
The Emirates observes Commemoration Day every November 30 to recognise members of the armed forces who lost their lives protecting the country.
“On Commemoration Day, the nation remembers with pride and gratitude its brave sons and daughters who gave their lives while protecting the UAE,” Sheikh Mohamed wrote on Twitter.
“The names of our fallen heroes are written in history and we pray that God grants them eternal rest and brings peace to their families.”
The late President Sheikh Khalifa introduced Commemoration Day in 2015.
It was initially introduced to commemorate Salem Suhail bin Khamis, who died on November 30, 1971 while fighting Iranian forces on the island of Greater Tunb.
Sheikh Mohamed praised Sheikh Khalifa in a Commemoration Day address carried by state news agency Wam on Tuesday.
“We remember with respect and appreciation the efforts of my late brother, Sheikh Khalifa, who designated November 30 as a day to salute the precious sacrifices of the nation's martyrs who gave their lives while defending our nation,” the President said.
Sheikh Mohamed said future generations should be inspired by their “integrity and dedication”.
“We call on the youth and rising generations of this country to adopt the noble value of martyrdom, to emulate the sacrifices of the martyrs, and to take their example of work ethic, dedication to duty and integrity in learning that the martyrs exemplified in their sacrifices,” he said.
“The UAE of the future can only be built through hard work and sacrifice if we dream, plan, and work diligently.”
Sheikh Mohammed reflects on sombre day
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said the UAE stood in solidarity with soldiers who laid down their lives and the families left behind.
“Today, the UAE stands in a moment of silence in honour of its martyrs,” he wrote on Twitter on Commemoration Day.
He said the country was united in appreciation of the mothers of the deceased, who he said lived on in the hearts of the UAE public.
In a message on Tuesday, Sheikh Mohammed said the annual occasion provided an opportunity to “commemorate the nation’s martyrs and show our appreciation for their sacrifices to defend the country’s freedom, security and stability”.
Sheikha Fatima salutes bereaved mothers
Sheikha Fatima, Mother of the Nation, said troops killed in action embodied the values of strength, pride and loyalty.
She offered her best wishes to the mothers of soldiers who died while serving the Emirates.
“I salute you, mothers of martyrs, whose sacrifices show your great attributes and sincere patriotism,” Sheikha Fatima said.
“You are an honourable example for us and all other mothers to follow. Your sons lost their lives in the battlefields while defending their nation.
“Their memory will remain forever in our hearts and their names will always be remembered and engraved in our country's history.”
The Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs marked Commemoration day at its headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
The UAE flag was lowered to half-mast outside the building was lowered to half-mast at 8am, with a minute's silence observed at 11.30am.
“The memory of the UAE’s heroes will remain immortal in the hearts and minds of the Emirati people, and their sacrifice will continue to inspire generations to make their own sacrifices to advance and protect the nation, support the oppressed, and defend what is right, enabling the UAE to always remain an oasis of safety, stability, and peace,” the ministry said in a statement.