Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio Launches 2020 Poppy Day Remembrance Week

State House, Freetown, Thursday 22 October, 2020 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has launched the 2020 Poppy Remembrance Week in honour of all military servicemen and women who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Co-Chairman Remembrance Day Planning Committee, Commissioner Rashid Thomas II, said remembering the Poppy Day was often done by Heads of State, particularly those of the Commonwealth of Nations.

A cross-section of the audience at State House

He added that the commemoration of the day on 11 November every year was for the over 20 million officers who died during the World War. He noted that the ceremony is always preceded by a thanksgiving service.

Making statement on behalf of the Sierra Leone Ex–Servicemen Association, Acting President Lieutenant Colonel Rtd. Dominic Sowa, said that they had always celebrated the Poppy Day as an affiliate to the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League in observing a moment of reflection of their colleagues that lost their lives in the two World Wars and the eleven-year civil war in Sierra Leone.

“The significance of the National Remembrance Day is to demonstrate to the citizenry that those who lost their lives in the defense of their motherland are not only remembered but honoured in a very special way,” he said.

Vice President Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh and H.E. President Bio

Before launching the 2020 Poppy Week Remembrance celebration, His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio said that all over the Commonwealth of Nations the Poppy Day was being celebrated to show respect to the fallen, the wounded and all those servicemen and women who had served in various conflicts since 1914.

“From Somme to Gallipoli; from the northern Sahara to Burma; and in various theatres from the Congo, Darfur Somalia, Liberia and back home in Sierra Leone, our men and women have served with gallantry and distinction. We honour their valour; we salute their great courage, and we will forever remember their sacrifices,” he said.

Presidential Adviser, Dr Kona Koroma; Internal Affairs Minister, David Maurice Panda-Noah; Secretary to President, Dr Julius Sandi and Chief Minister, Prof. John Francis

The President urged the Ex–Servicemen Association to continue to be peaceful and law-abiding just as they served the country with passion and dignity. He urged them to continue to contribute meaningfully to the security and development of the country.

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