ABU DHABI // Some had never met them personally, others did not even know their names, but this did not stop thousands turning out for the funerals of two of the fallen servicemen.
On Saturday at Bani Yas Cemetery, the services took place for Mohammed Al Hosani and Mohammed Khalid, two of the 45 soldiers killed in the Yemen rocket attack.
Mohammed Al Mazroui attended the funeral with his two sons to teach them about a sense of duty and to reinforce his support for the war.
“I don’t know his name, but he is a son of the nation and a brother to every one of us, so I have come here with my sons to show my support,” said Mr Al Mazroui.
Another funeral attendee, Ahmed Al Nuaimi, shared these sentiments.
“It is not important if I do not know them, we are one family and one nation,” said Mr Al Nuaimi.
“In the east you have the Monument of the Fallen Soldier, people pay respect, this is our way of paying respect.”
Pointing towards the crowds of the people walking from the burial, he said: “I assure you that the majority of these people do not know these boys, but they, today, have become their brothers and this is how we must be as a nation.”
Bu Majid said that he attended because he knew it was important to show solidarity with the fallen soldiers’ families.
“I have sons, I have lost relatives in the past, anyone who has lost anyone should know that this is important,” he said.
“This is more important that these men died in the service of their nation and we must stand with them.”
In Fujairah, the funeral services of six Emirati soldiers — Waleed Al Khudaim from Dibba, Rashed Al Yamahi and Khalifa Al Yamahi from Al Taween, Khalifa Al Suraidi from Al Hala, Mohammad Al Suraidi from Wadi Al Seder and Jasim Al Saadi from Murbeh — took place.
Vast crowds of residents gathered after Al Dhuhur prayers at Armed Forces Martyrs’ Mosque to participate in the funeral prayers for the heroes.
They were joined by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad, the Crown Prince of Fujairah.
The bodies were then returned to their families for burial.
In Ajman, one of the soldiers, Ali Hassan Al Hammadi, 27, who was married with one daughter, was also laid to rest.
His cousin, Ali Al Ali, 37, expressed both grief and pride at the loss.
“A death in a war is a source of pride and I wish I was in his place,” he said.
“There is sadness for losing him, but we are proud that he is martyr.”
Bader Al Ali, another cousin, said that Al Hammadi was a fine person who got on well with other people.
“When I received the news, it was a shock at first but then we took it rationally,” he said.
Ibrahim Ghulam, 28, also a cousin, said: “Who does not want to be a martyr, and Ali is lucky that he is.”
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(via The National)