His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio has on Tuesday 9th November 2021 launched the Poppy Day Remembrance Week and paid glowing tributes to all former members of the forces across the Commonwealth.
The President, himself an ex-serviceman, recalled that Poppy Day was a time of tributes, a time of remembrance and a time of deep reflection on the values that motivated those who made the ultimate sacrifice and those who bore the scars of their valour and their ordeal.
“They risked life and limb for causes greater than themselves; for people they did not know and will never know; for principles that live on and make our lives and our world better every day. Peace thrives because they stood up; we are free because they cared enough; we are safe because they believe every day that their duty to serve is supreme.
Today, we join the rest of the Commonwealth of Nations to remember those who have defended, served, and valiantly stood up to be counted when it mattered most,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Sierra Leone Ex-Servicemen Association, SLESA, Lt Col. (Rtd) Samuel E. Tucker said he was privileged to make a statement at the occasion, adding that SLESA was an affiliated body of the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Servicemen League.
He prayed for the fallen heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives in the World Wars from 1914 to 1918; and from 1939 to 1945, including those Sierra Leoneans who died during the country’s eleven years of civil war.
He thanked the President for making time to join them to celebrate the 2021 Poppy Week, adding that he had been very magnanimous to have abolished the death penalty, repealed the 1965 Public Order Act that criminalized libel and promoted the sustenance of rights and freedom of speech.
“Your Excellency, let me assure you that we are proud of you. I want to end by thanking you immensely for your indefatigable efforts in doing what you do to keep hopes alive in us as Sierra Leoneans. Thank you and may God bless us all,” he concluded.