The Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, on the occasion of this year’s Remembrance Day on Tuesday, laid a wreath on behalf of the Government and people of Ghana to honour Ghana’s military heroes.
This year’s celebration, which also marks the centenary of World War 1 and the 69th Remembrance Day parade, was held at the Christiansburg War Cemetery at Osu. In Accra under canopies where a sea of black and red colours dominated. Five other wreaths were laid to mark the day, also known as Poppy Day or Veterans Day.
Remembrance Day is observed on November 11 to commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and civilians in times of war, specifically since the First World War.
It is observed to recall the end of World War I in 1918 as major hostilities of World War I formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the signing of the Armistice. Ghana, then the Gold Coast and part of the British Empire, also sent her sons overseas in this war and some lost their lives. Both Christian and Islamic prayers, containing words of comfort and appreciation of the heroic deeds, as well as good repose of the departed, were said.
Thereafter, there was the call to remembrance and the sounding of the knell and the farewell call.
Elegies in slow movement music were sounded as the ceremony progressed. A contingent of Ghana’s gallant ex-servicemen in old and plain military khaki uniforms, with their peps and colours, marched past the presidential dais, as they saluted the President and took reserved seats. A two-minute silence sandwiched the last post and the reveille. The central element of the Remembrance Day ceremony is a two-minute silence sounded by a siren at the 11th hour, during which all movements should cease, so that in perfect stillness, the thought of everyone may be concentrated on the revered remembrance of the dead.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur, who was the reviewing commander, laid the first wreath on behalf of the Government and people of Ghana.
Mr. John Benjamin, British High Commissioner, laid the second wreath for the Commonwealth and allied countries whiles Mrs Bavelin Banjer, Dean of Diplomatic Corps, laid one on behalf of the diplomatic community.
Real Admirer Matthew Quarshie, Chief of Defence Staff, laid the fourth wreath on behalf of the Ghana Armed Forces and other security agencies whiles Commodore Steve Obimpeh, Chairman of the Veterans Association of Ghana, laid the fifth wreath on behalf of the veterans of Ghana.
Nii Dowuona Kinkan II, Chief of Osu, laid the wreath on behalf of traditional rulers in Ghana.
Also during the period towards Remembrance Day, artificial poppies are worn for peacekeepers, who died in the course of duty, around the world. Poppies are sold as a means of raising funds to support veterans, especially the disabled and hospitalized.
The solemn occasion, which attracted people from the various sections of the society, was attended by Members of Parliament (MPs), the Diplomatic Corps, traditional rulers, service commanders and ministers of state.
Mr. Mark Woyongo, Minister of the Interior, Dr. Benjamin Kumbour, Minister of Defense, and the chairman and members of the Council of State were also present.