By Cosmas Chimaliro, MANA
President Lazarus Chakwera on Sunday led Malawians at Mzuzu Stadium in commemorating Remembrance Day, known as the Poppy Day, which is observed by the Commonwealth nations and other nations in honour of soldiers who died on duty during World War I and II.
The Day falls on the second Sunday of the month closest to November 11 at 11 am, the day and time when the Armistice was signed after World War II fought between 1939 to 1945.
An estimated 30,000 Malawian soldiers participated in two World Wars’ battle front in different countries including Ethiopia, Madagascar, Burma and Jamaica, just to mention a few.
Other dignitaries that laid their wreaths included Commander of Malawi Defence Force, General Vincent Nundwe; Inspector General of Police, George Kainja; Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Kondwani Nankhumwa; Speaker of Parliament, Catherine Gotani Hara; Chief Justice, Andrew Nyirenda SC; Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Zangazanga Chikhosi; veteran soldiers, among others.
Members of the clergy from different denominations prayed for continued peace and tranquillity in Malawi as well as the rest of the world and also for souls of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the wars.
Currently, there is no living soldier in the country that fought in World War I from 1914 to 1918 but some who fought in the World War II are still alive.
About 65,000 combatants participated out of which 20,000 were killed whilst about 10,000 were injured in World War I.
The Second World War was the worst spread and about 50,000 were killed.
People all over the world take a minute to reflect at 11 am in observance of the tribute to those who died as the Last Post is played.
Last week, Vice-President Saulos Chilima attendee the annual Military Veterans charity golf tournament at Lilongwe Golf Club where he assured Malawi Defence Force (MDF) that government would continue supporting the military in any endeavour for the well-being of its soldiers and the veterans.
Chilima said it is the wish of the government to appreciate the commitment that the fellow citizens — living and departed — did to protect the country.
Commander, General Vincent Nundwe had said MDF was committed to assisting the War Veterans’ welfare at various levels, saying that was why they established the veterans Ex-service League of Malawi (VELOM) to be responsible for the veterans’ affairs.
British High Commissioner to Malawi, David Beer pledged that his country and the MDF will continue working together in many endeavours, including participating in joint peace mission trainings.