Last week was a very remarkable period of the year of all of the Eritreans with in the country and abroad. The 20th of June carries in it a very profane meaning in it. It is the day in which all of the Eritrean people commemorate its martyrs. Even kids: little children feel the need of venerating those who paid dearly with their lives for our country’s independence at first and its sovereignty after the liberation. While walking through the quite streets of that day one can instantly notice that the whole nation was in a deep worship state: candles light up everywhere and people walking slowly with a heavy breath. What impresses me the most though is the tribute that the kids pay to our martyrs: every year on this noble day, in every corner of every neighborhood young children gather up in little groups and prepare pictures and paintings of our martyrs and light up some candles as they sit around their little exhibition. It is truly amazing how many of the latest generation haven’t even livid in a state of war but still know the price of war. I went around and did some small conversations with some of them let’s how dear are our martyrs to the children of Eritrea.
-Hi, could you please tell us your name and what you doing to commemorate our martyrs?
My name is Zechy Sebhatu, I am 8 years old and I am third grader. Today it’s the 20th June so it means that we have to remember our martyrs so my friends and I we gathered up a lot of white stones and created a statue of a candle and when the sun was setting down we came out and sat around our candle.
-What does this day mean to you?
Today nobody works, our school is closed. It is the day in which everyone thanks our martyrs for giving us a free country in which we can play and go to school happy.
-Do you know the meaning of liberation?
Ohm… my mom says that they were always running away from the Derg soldiers because they would always shoot bullets. They would kill a lot of children and then when the “tegadelti” (E.P.L.F) came everything was over, but a lot of them had died fighting for us. And my older brother tells me that afterwards many other youngsters gave their lives fighting against TPLF agression. I love our martyrs they did a lot for us!
-Thanks a lot Zechy! See you around?
Next years: same day same time!
-Hello, what is your name?
I am Merry.
-How old are you?
14 I am an eighth grader.
-What you are doing today?
We are just remembering our martyrs. And I am personally doing it for my dad. He died when I was a year old so every year me and my class mates we gather up we sit together light up some candles and show our martyrs that we always are grateful for the sacrifice they made for us to be free citizens. Just like I lost my father many others lost their fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters… we miss them all a lot but if they would have been brave enough to sacrifice their lives we would be still living in pain.
-Are you the only one that commemorates this day?
No! All of us… like you know who the grownups are really attached to this day; but we kids too know the heavy meaning of this day.
-What is the meaning that you children know?
Freedom on the most expensive price ever, even if we haven’t even see one bullet fly in the sky we know the sacrifices made for us to be calmly living under a sky free from bullets!
-You sure do know the meaning of this day. Thank you for the interview.