National Mourning Day
National Mourning Day in Bangladesh is observed on August 15 in Bangladesh. On this day in 1975, a group of junior army officers killed Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family. His two daughters’ were spared because they were in Germany at the time. Sheikih Mujibur Rahman was considered to be the “Father of the Nation”. His political prudence, great courage, eloquence and powerful leadership motivated the countrymen to join in the war of liberation. Bangabondhu proclaimed independence on March 26 in 1971 and the people dived into nine months of long hard battle and achieved the much desired freedom. The nation itself has been awaiting a very long time for justice for the brutal murders.
They say many things that happen in history can be repeated if proper measures are not in place. I think it is important to be aware of events like this in history so we can learn from these mistakes and move on.
National Mourning Day: How is it Observed?
If you happen to be in Bangladesh on National Mourning Day, don’t be surprised if you notice the flag is flown at half-mast at government, organizational, educational and other buildings throughout the land. The Awami League also raises a black flag at all their party offices on the morning of August 15th, the time the brutal killings were discovered. The Awami League and others will also have special prayer sessions at Mosques, churches and pagodas. The whole day is one of great solemnity, and the “Father of the Nation” is given great respect and honour.
National Mourning Day and Lessons To-Be Learned
August 15th “is” a day of mourning in Bangladesh there is no doubt about this. To me, just the fact that it is remembered and the lives lost are honoured, speaks volumes. I mean, yes it was a terrible, terrible incident in history. However, building a better Bangladesh means understanding and empathy will go a long way when trying to rise above these acts.
I personally think it is really easy to allow small issues to turn into big issues if not dealt with in a sensitive and timely manner. Take for instance all of the hardships Bangladesh has endured. In particular, with the garment industry, there have been numerous disasters and I do admit, they have come a long way in trying to resolve those issues. Is it completely better? No. Will it ever be completely better? I hope so! There is a big window of opportunity for the nation to step up and allow for ethical and humane treatment of labourers. Living wage and safe work conditions are just a few of the issues I know a lot of people in Bangladesh dream of seeing implemented. It is a vision I hope and pray for also.
In conclusion, I sit here and think about National Mourning Day and a few tears roll down my face. I am deeply saddened by the precious lives that were lost, and more importantly, I hope today and every day going forward, we can try and honour these lives and all lives lost in cruel and senseless killings.
Read more about [National Mourning Day] here: