Asmarinos celebrating the liberation of their city, May 24, 1991
Great Independence of Great Perseverance
Adi Keih College of Arts and Social Sciences
18 May 2017
Independent Eritrea is twenty-six years old. On Wednesday the 24th of May 2017, the people of Eritrea will come together to celebrate independence and commemorate the country’s freedom. Eritreans, throughout the country and around the world, celebrate Independence Day with festivities and numerous colorful, fun-filled events. Throughout Eritrea, as well as in numerous cities, flag-hoisting ceremonies are conducted. The main event takes place in Asmara, the capital, where the President delivers a nationally televised speech highlighting the achievements and challenges of the country, and also pays tribute to all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for freedom. One of the most important reasons that Eritreans living inside and abroad gather each year on May 24th is to acknowledge our responsibility and obligation to ensure sovereignty and work to improve our nation.
Thinking back to independence in 1991 brings great memories. The drums of happiness and success reverberated loudly and celebrations took place across the country. Eritrea moved from oppressive Ethiopian colonial rule to true freedom and independence. The half-century long struggle to escape from the darkness of colonization to the light of independence was concluded successfully. With the onset of freedom, the people spoke in a new tongue and breathed a new spirit. The practice of marking independence with great festivity, speeches, parades, patriotic music, and other programs soon began and would continue. The significance and meaning of the day blends festivity with the recognition of loyalty, perseverance, and responsibility.
Africa is known as the cradle of the human race and Eritrea is the symbol of human perseverance and perpetual struggle for independence. For Eritrea, the valuable and constructive materials of pride, national unity and national glory are treasured. Nations are cohesive when citizens share values and preferences and can communicate with each other. Despite their diversity, the people of Eritrea have a strong collective spirit. There cannot be a firmly established political state unless there is a leading body with definitely recognized principles. In this case, the People’s Front leads Eritreans of all groups toward independence and sets the nation on a stable foundation unchallenged by outside forces. Few other people have a government more worthy of their respect and love than the people of Eritrea.
All Eritreans have a well-known duty to dedicate themselves to the memory of those who have gone before us and to put aside all selfish desires and to contribute every ounce of physical and intellectual grain to build a nation which shall honor our martyrs, motivate our living, and handover a proud heritage for the coming generations. Eritrea is slowly beginning to take-off, fighting back against all that would stand in the way of its progress. During the past 26 years, threats have come from near and far, ultimately aiming to divert us from our path, but we have exposed and vanquished them all. Importantly, despite the multifaceted difficulties that we have encountered, Eritreans still hold fast to the hope of a better future. In the face of persistent challenges, Eritrean’s retain their strong sense of purpose and closely guard their ambitions and goals.
Eritrea’s independence is the result of the great perseverance and self-reliance of Eritrean people. Unless people believe that they can produce desired effects by their actions, they have little incentive to act. The level of motivation and perseverance in the face of difficulties and setbacks, resilience to adversity, and the quality of analytical thinking in the face of stress and depression shown by Eritrea’s people and leadership can serve as an example and inspiration to those who seek freedom and justice in this often tyrannical and unjust world. In order to become more determined and motivated to work harder and persevere, we must believe that those efforts will pay-off. During the long independence struggle, Eritrean’s could often only rely upon themselves and their vision of a future full of freedom and harmony. Courage, determination, perseverance, and persistence were the essential ingredients in the Eritrean struggle. Importantly, today those same ingredients are required in order to move the country forward and fulfill our dreams of a prosperous, harmonious nation.
What makes Eritreans successful? The answer is a deep belief in themselves and a great desire for a better future. These qualities allowed them to defeat great powers. It is perseverance that connects Eritreans with their purpose. Our liberation struggle verifies that those who persevere will eventually achieve their goals. Perseverance is almost like a magical talisman, before which difficulties will eventually disappear and obstacles will vanish into air. Likewise, “by perseverance the snail reached the ark.”
Eritrea is 26. We are now free and shall remain free. We have problems to solve, many threatening evils to fight, and many things left to achieve and accomplish. However, let us not be daunted. Let us recall that we have long illustrated the wisdom, strength, perseverance and courage that will be required to navigate these tasks. Recalling our past and looking toward our future, we are moving from the shadows and nearing the light. With the names of our martyrs etched into our hearts, the song of freedom on our lips, and the sense of faith guiding our spirit, let us march forward. Let us fulfill our dreams. Let us work resolutely, overcoming our challenges, maintaining our effort, and retaining our interest.