Their Highnesses Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and other rulers of the emirates toured the memorial site (Wahat Al Karama) where they heard from Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnoun bin Mohamed Al Nahyan, Director of the Martyrs’ Families’ Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, about the features of the site.
He said the site includes the Memorial Plaza, a large open area of over 4,000 square metres which will host the annual Commemoration Day ceremony. A circular pool of water – 15mm deep – occupies the centre of the Memorial Plaza. The pool provides a unique reflection of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and also the memorial’s panels.
The memorial comprises 31 aluminium-clad panels, each leaning on the other, representing the unity, solidarity and mutual support that binds together leadership and citizens. The panels are engraved with poems written by the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The long spine at the rear of the memorial is engraved with the pledge of allegiance of the UAE Armed Forces.
Wahat Al Karama also includes the Pavilion of Honour. The pavilion’s roof is made from eight large panels, seven of which represent the UAE’s emirates and the eighth representing the nation’s heroes. At the centre of the pavilion are seven massive glass panels, representing the seven emirates; on each is written the Armed Forces’ pledge of allegiance. It has a grand stand which can accommodate up to 1,200 people.
The leaders concluded their tour at the Pavilion of Honour which contains the names of 196 fallen heroes displayed on an illuminated panel made from aluminium reclaimed from Armed Forces vehicle used by the nation’s defenders in the battlefields of honour and duty.
The leaders expressed their pride in the martyrs who offered the ultimate sacrifice in defence of the nation, while affirming that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will always remember the brave and heroic acts of those galaxy of heroes who will go down in the annals of the UAE’s history as an inspiration for the generations for their loyalty, dedication and sacrifice.
They also hailed the families of the martyrs who offered and brought up these young, loyal and dedicated patriots. The honour of these families behind their children and their pride in them, the rulers affirmed, will always be a source of reverence and appreciation from the leadership and people of the UAE.