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January 15th: Armed Forces Remembrance Day

Today is Armed Forces Remembrance Day. 15th January of every year is very notable in Nigeria for two things: the end of the Nigerian Civil War and a day celebrated in remembrance of the Armed forces. However, our focus is on the Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

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Ab initio, November 11 was designated as the day to celebrate the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, since it was in assonance with the Remembrance Day or Armistice Day (Poppy Day) which is celebrated by all commonwealth member states since the end of the first world war, in order to remember members of their armed forces who have died on the battlefield. On this day, a minute silence was usually held by 11 AM in respect of the fallen.

However, November 11th was changed to January 15th, to mark the end of the Nigerian Civil War and to also celebrate those uniformed men and women who fought gallantly as well as laid down their lives.

This day is observed and celebrated nationwide and marked with a Remembrance Day parade in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and all the 36 states of the federation. There will also be placing of wreaths, playing of the last post, 21-gun salutes, and the release of pigeons, which symbolises Peace.

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On the 16th of October, 2019, the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem and Appeal Fund was launched in preparation for the 2020 edition of the celebration. The emblem was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari to signify support, encouragement, and motivation to the Nigeria Legion. A donation of 10 Million was made.

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In his words:

As I launch the emblem shortly, I wish to call on all Nigerians and others resident in Nigeria to procure and wear the emblems with pride to identify with those who laid down their lives for the peace and security of our fatherland. I encourage all to donate generously in support of our veterans and dependants of fallen heroes.

President Muhammadu Buhari

The Proceeds from the sale of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem will be given to the Nigerian Legion. The Nigerian Legion was established by an act of parliament and it is an organization of ex service men. This organization is charged with the responsibility of catering for the welfare of the ex service men.

The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is also significant vis a vis the current military men who are serving in one capacity or the other on the frontlines, all over the world.


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Chidozie Prince Ahaneku

I am a poet. I am a moderate thinker who abhors radicalism on every front and believes that most things are relative. I am a social and political critic. I love writing, reading and international politics.

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