SHARJAH // Families of heroes who died in the line of duty on Wednesday took solace as the nation united to honour their loved ones.
Across the country, UAE flags were flown at half mast from 8am until 11.30am, after which a minute’s silence was observed.
Fahd Al Habsi, the uncle of Lt Rashid Al Habsi who died in September while serving in the Arab coalition’s Operation Restoring Hope in Yemen, said the day was an important event.
“We have not forgotten our son. We still remember him every day, and today we celebrate his sacrifice and make sure that his memory is alive in his children,” said Mr Al Habsi.
Lt Al Habsi, who lived in Ras Al Khaimah, was 34 when he was killed. He is survived by his sons Mohammed, Hamdan and Abdullah, and daughters Raheel and Sheikha.
“My sister is still saddened for the loss of her son and continues mourning him,” said Mr Al Habsi, 40. “Tears fall down her cheeks as soon as his name is spoken.”
Hamad Al Badwawi said his brother Obaid was a hero in their hometown of Masfut in Ajman, close to the border with Oman.
“Everyone in our town refers to him as a hero who brought honour to his family and his country,” said the Sharjah College student, 20. “He was a good football player. We miss him a lot and still can’t believe he passed away, but it is God’s will.
“My brother’s service and sacrifice had a big effect on me and Commemoration Day is for all people in the country to remember those who laid down their lives to protect others and us.”
Lt Al Badwawi died in February in Yemen when his vehicle overturned. He had three sisters and eight brothers.
His father Salim said: “This day for us is a day of pride, honour, to remember our sons who gave their lives for their county.”
In Sharjah, the brothers of Sgt Ghalib Al Marri, a 38-year-old -father of five who died in September last year, said Commemoration Day was a time to remember their sibling and the country’s brave soldiers.
“It is a day of loyalty and remembering the sacrifice made by UAE men in defending their brothers in Yemen,” said Ghanim Al Marri, 36, who also serves in the Armed Forces.
“We are proud to be the family of a martyr.”