Ask any Rwandan you will meet randomly whether they are patriotic, and the answer will be an astound yes! Generally, patriotism means love and commitment to one’s motherland— a very simple emotional attachment to the place where you come from. This is feeling is triggered every year on February 1 when Rwandans celebrate the National Heroes Day. This year, we are celebrating the 30-year anniversary and the rallying call for the past one month has been for citizens to embrace the values of nation building and patriotism. ALSO READ Heroes mausoleums 'help foster unity' The Heroes we celebrate today espoused certain values that saw them risk their lives to ensure that the future of Rwandans is secured in all spheres of life. The fruits of their acts of grace is the current peace, unity and transformation that Rwanda is enjoying. As we commemorate this day, we must reiterate our commitment to uphold the values that the heroes held so dearly for Rwanda to get out of a dark chapter of its history in which over 1 million people were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. ALSO READ: A tribute to National Heroes These are the very values that made the foundation of the current prosperity and development, making Rwanda a role model state. To consolidate these achievements, every Rwandan should pledge to do more to consolidate the gains registered over the last two decades. Rwandans should use this occasion to appreciate the need to be patriotic, to embrace values such as integrity, sacrifice, humanity, love for work and accountability. It is through upholding such values that Rwanda will be able to achieve its vision and development goals. ALSO READ: Who is eligible for Rwanda’s Hero’s medals There is need to rekindle that urge and conscience especially among the youth by teaching them about the history of the country and its culture. The efforts of our heroes should never be in vain. Let us work for Rwanda that our heroes envisioned when they risked their lives to liberate the country and leave it a better place for the generations to come. That is what the heroes died for and there is no better way of honouring them than paying it forward.