The 2011 Heroes’ Day celebrations will be held at the village level, the Minister of Culture and Sports, Joseph Habineza, announced yesterday during a news conference at the Prime Minister’s offices.
Heroes’ Day is celebrated on February 1.
“We are going to celebrate Heroes Day in our villages there is no need of going to the stadium to mark this day,” he said.
The Day will be celebrated under the theme; “Duharanire ubutwari, duheshe agaciro u Rwanda” translated to mean “let’s strive for Heroism as we add value to Rwanda.’
“We chose this particular theme because we wanted to empower Rwandans to always strive to become heroes as they add value to their country,” he said.
Habineza added that this year’s Heroes’
Day will start with laying a wreath at the Heroes’ Cemetery and thereafter people will gather in their villages and discuss, reflect and exchange ideas on heroism.
This, he said, will make citizens appreciate the efforts of those who sacrificed their lives to make Rwanda what it is today.
President Paul Kagame is expected to address the nation at noon.
Minister Habineza pointed out that some of the Rwandan heroes who will be remembered include the late Maj. Gen. Fred Gisa Rwigema and the Unknown Soldier who represents other soldiers who died during the liberation struggle, King Charles Leon Pierre Mutara III Rudahigwa, for being patriotic, expanding and protecting the kingdom’s territorial integrity and its people.
Other heroes include Michael Rwagasana remembered for promoting national interests; Agatha Uwilingiyimana, the former Prime Minister who strongly opposed the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi; Sr. Felicita Niyitegeka of Centre St Pierre in Gisenyi, now Rubavu District, who was executed by militias because of her attempt to protect Tutsi civilians.
Students of Nyange Secondary School are also remembered for resisting ethnic divisionism and championed human rights and were killed for their views.