The Heroes Cemetery in Remera, Kigali. This year’s celebrations of the Heroes Day will be celebrated at the village level

Rwandans will on February 1 celebrate their fallen heroes and heroines at the village level.

Heroes’ Day will bring people together in their respective villages and neighborhoods and reflect on and share ideas about heroism, the Minister of Culture and Sports, Protais Mitali, told The New Times.

“Talk-shows on heroism and patriotism were organized in schools, from January 23 to 31, when a concert will be held to celebrate our heroes,” Mitali noted.

He added top government officials will honour the fallen heroes and heroines by laying wreaths at their graves at the Heroes Cemetery in Remera, Kigali.

The Day will be celebrated under the theme; “Duharanire Ubutwari, Turwanya Ihohotera Rikorerwa Abana”, loosely translated as “Let’s Strive for Heroism as We Fight Child Abuse.’

“We chose this particular theme because we wanted all Rwandans to own the fight against child abuse. People who have fought child abuse will be recognised at the village level,” said the Minister.

Some of the heroes who will be remembered include the late Maj. Gen. Fred Gisa Rwigema and an unidentified soldier, who represents other soldiers who died during the liberation struggle; King Charles Leon Pierre Mutara III Rudahigwa, who is revered for expanding and protecting the Kingdom’s territorial integrity and its people.

Others include Michael Rwagasana, remembered for promoting national interests; Agatha Uwilingiyimana, the former Prime Minister who strongly opposed the genocidal regime of Juvenal Habyarimana; and Sr. Felicita Niyitegeka of Centre St Pierre in Gisenyi, who was executed by militias because of her attempt to protect Tutsi civilians.

Also celebrated are the Nyange Secondary School students, who were indiscriminately killed by infiltrators after they refused to identify themselves along ethnic lines, boldly telling the assailants, “we are all Rwandans.”

By Edwin Musoni, The New Times

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