May comes and every Eritrean mind is focused on one and one issue, Independence Day. Every one goes back to its individual and collective memories to remember what it was like the situation in the country before May 24, 1991. Every one had its own experience. But commonly every one was expecting the demise of the occupation forces and the end of colonialism in Eritrea.
Some seven months before May 24, the Voice of the Masses voiced the prospect of Eritrean independence through the assurance of President Isaias Afwerki, then the General Secretary of the EPLF. President Isaias asked of the progress of the struggle for independence said that the Eritrea independence is a matter of months. That assurance never faded from the minds of Eritreans aspiring the day to come sooner. And it indeed came true in a matter of moths since he said it.
The Fenkil Operation was the beginning of the last journey for Eritrean Independence. Every Eritrean and friends of Eritrea new by heart, that after the occupation of Massawa, independence was imminent and Ethiopian rule over Eritrea nearing fast. The enemy itself admitted that through its own mass media. They said that they are caught by the throat. Massawa being the supply route for the Derg regime’s army and once it is blocked no supply and no fighting power and will. If one looses his throat would expect to continue living, death is imminent. The maneuver it was conducting could only be expressed as ‘in case’ or ‘who knows’. But in reality it was not that case, it was waiting its final day.
After the occupation of Massawa things were moving fast and the political scenarios changing by the day. As if they were not adamant to come to the negotiation table, officials of the Derg regime were observed roaming around in search of some body for redemption, but to no avail. The balance of power was already in the hands of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front no one to stop it from reaching its goal.
The Eritrean liberation fighters and the people were counting the day that they see the light at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel was short and reachable in a matter of days. They paid heavy sacrifice to reach to see the light at the end of tunnel and their blood and life paid of on May 24.
When we observe the month of May not only joy comes to our mind, but also we remember the brothers and sisters who made the day a reality. We believe that had we not paid that enormous sacrifice we would not have seen the day. And the glory goes to them for they helped us see freedom and independence to put ourselves in the map of the world as free and independent nation and people.
Preparations to celebrate Independence Day have already begun in different cities around the world where Eritreans are residing. The celebrations include music shows, seminars and other cultural activities. The culture of celebrating in such a way every year has significant importance in transferring the Eritrean history to posterity. The Eritrean youths born in the Diaspora could only learn the reality in the Homeland and the hardship the Eritrean people had to go through under colonialism, the heavy sacrifice paid to bring back the country to its true owners, the economic development achieved after independence and the role they should play through such events.
The Independence Day celebrations are, hence, significant in every aspect and activities that should sustainably conducted every coming May. May is the month during which Eritrea was realized as independent and sovereign country with its people walking proudly as people.
The preparations inside the country, in all the six regions, is being finalized, ready to commence some weeks before the May 24.
Happy Independence Day celebration!