Rwandans across the country today marked Heroes Day, paying tribute to the men and women who sacrificed their lives in the interest of their country.
Heroes Day celebrations were held at the village level, where people converged as neighbors to reflect on the actions of the heroes, while at the national level Senate President, Bernard Makuza, led government officials and members of the diplomatic community in laying wreaths at the Heroes Mausoleum in Remera, Kigali.
"The heroes and heroines we pay tribute to sacrificed themselves for something bigger than themselves to make our country what it is today," the Minister of Sports and Culture, Joseph Habineza, told reporters after the wreath-laying ceremony.
The Chairperson of Chancellery for Heroes, National Order and Decoration of Honour, Augustin Iyamuremye, told The New Times that Rwanda’s pride is derived from the acts of several heroes who sacrificed their lives for an ultimate cause.
“The heroes we honor today represent the acts of many who sacrificed their lives to see a liberated and united Rwanda,” said Iyamuremye.
The heroes laid at the Remera mausoleum include Maj. Gen. Fred Gisa Rwigema and the 'Unknown Soldier', both of whom are in the Imanzi category. Those in the second category (Imena) include King Mutara III Rudahigwa, Michel Rwagasana, Agatha Uwiringiyimana, Felicite Niyitegeka and the Nyange Secondary School students.
This year's Heroes Day was marked under the theme, ‘Rwandans’ Heroism, Our Dignity’.