This Date in Eritrean History
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December 1st, The Day Ona Villagers Perished and a Day of our Martyrs' Commemoration
ELF used to commemorate our martyrs on December 1st and ELF-RC continued the noble tradition. We believe that the purpose is vividly clear to commemorate the martyrs' day and to ceremonially recognize all our compatriots, starting from the first 'Sheheed' to Yonas, our famous young artist in Seattle branch, who fell for us and for Eritrea's bright future. It is a way of telling all those who gave their precious life that we recognize their sacrifice whether it is a well renown like Awate, Alem Mesfin, Abdelkader Romadan, Meleake Tecle, and Said Salih or one with unrecognized name killed by the 'Afang'. It is our way of saying that we will never forget them. It is a way of ascertaining that we remain loyal to the cause for which they fell. It is to recall our history and to remember in silence all the sacrifices our people have given in Ona as a symbol of all the villages and towns that turned to ashes. It is a commemoration of all those who perished in Korokon, burned in Barka Lalay, those who were driven to running floods in Omhajer, and many other mass killings. It is to remember and pray for all political prisoners and particularly our comrades like Tekleberhan Wodi Bashai, Woldemariam Bahlbi, and other hero members of our cells who are still suffering in PFDJ dungeons.
We are aware that many quarters of our people commemorate a martyrs' day on a different date and month. We do not have any quarrel with that. The important thing is for all of our martyrs to be celebrated and remembered for their heroism, bravery and sacrifice for our independence and later for our freedom. Our members and supporters do commemorate that day too and we encourage them to continue to do so.
Separate articles are posted about the history of Ona and why ELF-RC designated December 1st a martyrs' day. Until such time our democratic goal is achieved and we have assurances that the martyrs' day is selected on a meaningful basis that reflects the sacrifice of our people had to pay, we shall continue to pay tribute to our martyrs on this day of every year. We call on all Eritreans to pause and remember our martyrs and pray for those who are suffering in the justice less, light less, contact less as well as dignity less prison camps of the dictatorial regime in their respective faiths. May this memorial be an enhancement to our struggle for democracy and rule of law. May our martyrs' remembrance bring about harmony and reconciliation in the opposition and all of our people.
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