President Irfaan Ali on Sunday recalled the sacrifices of Guyanese who died during World Wars I and II, as they sought peace and freedom. In remembrance of the fallen soldiers, he pledged, “We the citizens of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, on this solemn occasion, rededicate ourselves to the search for peace and well-being of our beloved country.”
The president was at the time speaking at the Georgetown Cenotaph, at the memorial service for the hundreds of then British Guianese who fought in the wars. “We assemble at this war memorial on this Sunday of remembrance to call to mind the sacrifice of all those gallant men and women who gave their lives in two world wars. We are forever indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice in the cause of peace and freedom,” said the Head of State.
He said Guyana recalls with gratitude those who, through the years, have made similar personal sacrifices in the continuing struggle for human dignity, social justice, and freedom from all forms of oppression. He said their example strengthens the country’s resolve to maintain all efforts for a world at peace with justice and prosperity for all peoples.
The ceremony commenced with a military parade followed by the Presidential Salute, the last post, two minutes of silence, the sounding of the reveille, prayers, and the laying of wreaths.
President Ali, who is also the Commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces laid the first wreath.
He was followed by Prime Minister, Brigadier Mark Phillips; Guyana Defence Force, Chief -of -Staff, Brigadier Godfrey Bess; President of the Guyana Veterans Legion, George Gomes; Commissioner of the Guyana Police Force (ag), Nigel Hoppie; United States Ambassador, Sarah-Ann Lynch; and other members of the diplomatic corps.
Remembrance Sunday is commemorated on the second Sunday of November. Remembrance Day, or Poppy Day, is observed annually by Commonwealth countries to honour those who died in the World Wars. British Guianese soldiers served and fought in Egypt, France, Belgium, and East Africa. Of the hundreds of war heroes who returned, only seven of them are alive.