The nation celebrated the Independence and National Day on Sunday with a fresh vow to root out corruption and communal forces from the country being imbued with the spirit of the War of Independence.
People from all walks of life paid glowing tribute to the brave sons of the soil who rose in revolt and fought the Pakistani forces in 1971 and finally achieved independence through their supreme sacrifices.
After laying the wreaths, both the President and the premier stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the martyrs of the Great War of Liberation in 1971.
A smartly turned-out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force presented a state salute at that time while the bugles played the last post.
The head of the state and the head of the government also signed the visitors’ book kept on the premises of the National Memorial.
Flanked by her party leaders, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the Awami League, paid tribute to the war martyrs by placing another wreath at the memorial on behalf of the party.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, leaders of AL-led 14-party alliance and high civil and military officials, among others, were present there.
After the departure of the VIPs, tens of thousands of people started thronging the National Mausoleum since dawn to pay respects to the martyred war heroes.
Many people, however, deplored the acts of violence being carried out in the country in the name of movement to get political mileage.
Politicians should not leave the memorial precincts by placing wreaths only, rather they have to make a pledge to shun the path of political violence, they said.
Earlier, a pre-dawn 31-gun salute heralded the day.
Different political parties, government and non-government organisations, socio-cultural and professional bodies as well as educational institutions celebrated the day with due solemnity.
Jatiya Party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Workers Party of Bangladesh, Samyabadi Dal, Gono Azadi League, National Awami Party, Gono Forum, Liberal Democratic Party, NAP (Bhasani), Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal and Samajtantrik Front, Bangla Academy, Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote, Bangabandhu Society, Sector Commanders’ Forum, Dhaka Reporters’ Unity, Crime Reporters’ Association of Bangladesh, Dhaka University, Jahangirnagar University, North South University and National University also placed wreaths at the memorial.
The day was a public holiday.
The national flag was hoisted atop government and private buildings while major streets and intersections were tastefully decorated with national and multi-coloured miniature flags and festoons.
Important buildings and establishments as well as thoroughfares and islands were illuminated with colourful lights in the evening.
Newspapers published special supplements while Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Television and private radio stations and TV channels aired special programmes, highlighting the significance of the day.
Special prayers were offered in all mosques, temples, churches and other places of worship across the country, seeking divine blessings for the nation.
Awami League will hold a discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference centre at 11:00am today to mark the day. The premier is scheduled to chair the programme.