Emirati heroes remembered at Wahat Al Karama ceremony

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, gave medals to the families of those who lost their lives serving their country

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The sacrifices of the UAE’s military heroes were remembered in a poignant ceremony at Abu Dhabi’s Wahat Al Karama on Wednesday.

The event was attended by members of the royal family, ministers and officials.

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, led the Commemoration Day ceremony that paid tribute to those who lost their lives while in service of the state, and their families.

He gave martyr medals to the families. Twenty-one ceremonial shots were fired and fighter jets flew overhead.

Ebrahim Alshehhi, the brother of soldier Ali Alshehhi, was present at the ceremony.

Mr Alshehhi said in his last message, his brother sent his regards to everyone and asked him to take care of their parents.

“People think that Martyr’s Day is a day of sadnesses but it is a day that in reality brings so much pride and we get to share the legacies of our loved ones with the world,” he said.

“National day is also immediately after it so it feels like we are celebrating twice - we celebrate the lives of our martyrs who have made the biggest imaginable sacrifice and the union of our nation.

“Ali has never left our thoughts and our prayers and we know he is in a better place. He has made us and his children so proud.”

Noora Al Hosani, the wife of Mohammed Ali Zainal Al Bastaki, one of the five Emirati diplomats who lost their lives in Afghanistan five years ago, said the country’s leaders have taken care of them ever since.

Mr Al Bastaki was carrying out humanitarian work when a bomb went off at Kandahar's governor’s guesthouse. He was meeting with the UAE delegation at the time.

Mr Al Bastaki was the deputy director general of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and had dedicated his life to humanitarian work and the country.

Speaking to The National, Ms Al Hosani, mother of two, said: “My children lost a father but they gained a nation. Since my husband’s passing, never once have they felt a sense of loss but it has always been pride.”

She said the Martyr’s Affairs Family Office had made sure that all their needs have been met and regularly call to check on them.

“Before his death, my husband had a premonition that he would one day be martyred. When I told him that I felt sad for the wives of martyrs, he would tell me to be proud of their sacrifices. He lived a full life, which he dedicated to his country and his people and his family,” she said.

UAE Commemoration Day 2021 - in pictures

Updated: December 01, 2022, 4:46 AM