TAPS’ were quietly performed by a military band and could be heard across Remera in Gasabo district in the capital Kigali.
It is February 1, 2020 – Heroes Day in Rwanda. It is a special day for Rwandans.
President Paul Kagame, surrounded by top government officials and families of Rwandan Heroes, paid tribute to them at the National Heroes Mausoleum in Remera.
They lived at different times and did extraordinary things in service of the nation – and later lost their lives for that cause.
Remembering them has a big meaning. Rwandans remember them to emulate their legacy.
President Kagame laid a wreath in honor of them alongside government officials and the dean of the diplomatic corps, Amb. Guy Nestor Itou of the Republic of Congo.
It is a national holiday in Rwanda and at different parts of the country, Rwandans met and recounted the sacrifices, courage and the love these heroes had for their country.
All that Rwandans discuss on such a day is the need to instill heroism into the youth and the culture of achieving what the common understanding of a human being may not necessarily afford.
Sessions to speak about Rwandan heroes and how the youth could emulate them marked today’s event.
One of the heroes remembered today is Maj General Fred Gisa Rwigema, the first commander in Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) struggle in 1990. Maj Gen Gisa Rwigema was put in the supreme category of heroes called Imanzi.
The latter is the supreme Hero who demonstrated outstanding achievements characterized by supreme sacrifice, outstanding importance and example. Also, belonging to this category is the Unknown Soldier – any soldier who perished during the liberation struggle and those who may in the future shed blood in a battlefield to defend country sovereignty.
Other category of heroes is Imena, a hero who seconds Imanzi and who is reputed for his/ her extraordinary acts for the country which are characterized by supreme sacrifice, high importance and example.
Late Agathe Uwiringiyimana, Prime Minister of Rwanda who was killed during the Genocide, King Mutara III Rudahigwa among others, belong to this category. Also in this category, the children of Nyange secondary school in Ngororero district accepted to die rather than to disclose their ethnic identity to the enemy who wanted to exterminate the Tutsi among them back in 1997.
The last, but not least category of Rwandan heroes is Ingenzi, a Hero who is notorious for his/her good ideas or his/her outstanding achievements characterized by supreme sacrifice, great importance and high example.
Several Rwandans took to social media to wish each other a happy Heroes Day. Under the theme “Our Heroism, our Dignity,” this is the 26th National Heroes Day.
More photos here