The nation celebrated its 46th Independence and National Day on Saturday with a fresh vow to build a prosperous and democratic Bangladesh with the united efforts of all.
Thousands of people from all walks of life thronged the Savar National Mausoleum and paid rich tributes to the martyrs who laid down their lives for the country’s independence.
On March 26, 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared Bangladesh’s independence following the crackdown on unarmed Banglalees on the midnight of March 25 by the Pakistani occupation forces.
Bangladesh gained independence on December 16, 1971 after a nine-month war that saw the supreme sacrifice of three million people and the loss of chastity of 0.2 million women.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the nation in paying homage to the war heroes by placing wreaths at the National Mausoleum.
President Hamid first placed a wreath at the altar of the memorial followed by the Prime Minister.
After placing the wreaths, the President and the Prime Minister stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs of the Liberation War of 1971.
The bugle played the last post and a smartly turned out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force presented a state salute on the occasion.
Later, President Hamid signed the visitor's book on the mausoleum premises.
On her return from the National Mausoleum, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also paid homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing a wreath at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the capital.
Flanked by central leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, laid another wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu on behalf of her party.
She also attended a rally of children and juveniles at Bangabandhu National Stadium arranged by the Dhaka district administration.
Addressing the rally, Hasina urged all to build the country through united efforts so that the nation does not lag behind anymore.
Later, the Prime Minister greeted freedom fighters of the country and sent flowers, fruits and sweetmeats to the war-wounded freedom fighters as a mark of her good wishes for them.
PM's Assistant Private Secretary-1 Jahangir Alam, APS-2 Saifuzzaman Shikhar and Protocol Officer Khurshid Alam handed over the items to
the war-wounded Freedom Fighters at Muktijoddha Punarbashan Kendra at Mohammadpur in the capital.
She also released a commemorative postage stamp at her official esidence Ganobhaban marking Day.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia also paid tributes to Liberation War martyrs by placing wreaths at the National Mausoleum in the morning, celebrating the day.
Later, she along with her party’s leaders and activists also placed wreaths at the grave of BNP founder and late President Ziaur Rahman on the occasion.
The party leaders and activists also brought out a rally from its Nayapaltan Central office around 3:20pm.
Leaders and activists of other political parties also paid homage to the Liberation War martyrs.
Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid and his wife Rashida Khanom hosted a reception at Bangabhaban marking the Independence and National Day.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the reception at the lawn of the presidential palace.
Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha and former President HM Ershad joined the reception. Valiant freedom fighters and family members of Birshreshtha gallantry award recipients attended the Independence and National Day reception.
Cabinet Members, Deputy Speaker, Advisers to the Prime Minister, ambassadors and high commissioners of different countries, Chief Election Commissioner, state ministers, Supreme Court judges, cabinet secretary, senior lawyers, the chiefs of the three services, members of parliament, senior political leaders, editors, journalist leaders, senior civil and military officers, academics, business community leaders, artistes and distinguished citizens also joined the function.
The President and the Prime Minister together exchanged greetings with the war-wounded freedom fighters and other guests at the event.
President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia issued separate messages greeting the people of the country occasion.
The day was a public holiday.
The government, different political parties, socio-cultural organisations and professional bodies held various programmes to mark the day.
The national flag was hoisted atop government and private buildings while the government and semi-government buildings and other public places were illuminated on the auspicious occasion.
Special prayers were offered at mosques, temples, churches and pagodas, seeking divine blessings for the departed souls of the martyrs as well as peace, stability and progress of the country.
National dailies published supplements while Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar and other private TV channels and radio stations aired special programme highlighting the significance of the day.