KIGALI - There will be no pomp characterised by military and police parades and no processions during this year’s Heroes’ day celebrations. Instead, the occasion will be celebrated at the village.
Unlike in the past when people gathered in big numbers in stadiums, this year’s Heroes’ day will be celebrated in a unique way where people will gather in their villages and quarters to exchange ideas on heroism.
In an Interview with The New Times, Culture and Sports Minister Joseph Habineza said that this year’s celebration will be unique because people will come together in their own neighbourhoods to discuss ‘more insightfully’ on the topic of heroism.
“The day will start with laying a wreath at the heroes’ cemetery, there after people will be required to gather in their villages where they will exchange ideas and views on Heroism,”
“It will end with a speech from the President which people will follow on radios and television. There will be no special events apart from that,” Habineza said.
President Paul Kagame is expected to make a speech at midday which will be aired by radio stations and Rwanda Television and followed countrywide.
This year’s Heroes’ Day will be celebrated under the theme ‘Let’s be brave in our determination to develop Rwanda’. Local leaders, Members of Parliament and Opinion leaders will preside over the village debates.
Some of the Rwandan heroes remembered today include Maj. Gen. Fred Gisa Rwigema remembered for being a patriotic and charismatic leader who sacrificed his life to liberate Rwanda, King Charles Leon Pierre Mutara III Rudahigwa, remembered for being patriotic, expanding and protecting the kingdom’s territorial integrity and its people.
Other heroes include Michael Rwagasana remembered for promoting national interests, and Agatha Uwilingiyimana, the former Prime Minister who strongly opposed the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. She was killed by the militias.
Students of Inyange Secondary School are remembered for resisting ethnic divisionism and championed human rights and were killed for their views.