Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio launches 2020 Poppy Day Remembrance Week

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 October 2020:

President Dr Julius Maada Bio has today launched the 2020 Poppy Remembrance Week in honour of all military servicemen and women who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Co-Chairman Remembrance Day Planning Committee, Commissioner Rashid Thomas II, said remembering the Poppy Day was often done by Heads of State, particularly those of the Commonwealth of Nations.

He added that the commemoration of the day on 11 November every year was for the over 20 million officers who died during the World War. He noted that the ceremony is always preceded by a thanksgiving service.

Making statement on behalf of the Sierra Leone Ex–Servicemen Association, Acting President Lieutenant Colonel Rtd. Dominic Sowa, said that they had always celebrated the Poppy Day as an affiliate to the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League in observing a moment of reflection of their colleagues that lost their lives in the two World Wars and the eleven-year civil war in Sierra Leone.

“The significance of the National Remembrance Day is to demonstrate to the citizenry that those who lost their lives in the defense of their motherland are not only remembered but honoured in a very special way,” he said.

Before launching the 2020 Poppy Week Remembrance celebration, His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio said that all over the Commonwealth of Nations the Poppy Day was being celebrated to show respect to the fallen, the wounded and all those servicemen and women who had served in various conflicts since 1914.

“From Somme to Gallipoli; from the northern Sahara to Burma; and in various theatres from the Congo, Darfur Somalia, Liberia and back home in Sierra Leone, our men and women have served with gallantry and distinction. We honour their valour; we salute their great courage, and we will forever remember their sacrifices,” he said.

The President urged the Ex–Servicemen Association to continue to be peaceful and law-abiding just as they served the country with passion and dignity. He urged them to continue to contribute meaningfully to the security and development of the country.


  1. Decorating ourselves with poppy flowers is one thing and being a good leader, governing your citizens peacefully is another. Will our leaders ever learn from the lessons that lead to this decoration and celebrations? Or they just want to be decorated for the optical media each year? All of them talk of the need for peace during this day. But look at the horrific and barbaric crimes some of them are committing against their own citizens everyday and even during this memorial day. They don’t care about peace. What they care about, is clinging to power by whatever dirty tricks, which always lead to chaos and anarchy instead of peace. Can you imagine? Such leaders have to pack their suitcases and go. Period!

    Bottom line, hypocrisy will never end. May God help bring peace and unity to Sierra Leone and the World. May the souls of the fallen soldiers, who died during those brutal battles, so that we may live in a peaceful Sierra Leone and World, rest in perfect peace. May God bless, guide and protect our War Veterans and help the Sierra Leone Government provide them with the support they desperately need. Amen and Amen. Father God.

  2. Nation states celebrate and honour the end of wars, and their war dead for various reasons. And two of the most important reasons, are not to FORGET, about what happened. secondly to learn from it, so they never repeat the same mistakes that bought them to war in the first place. On this day in 1918, on the 11th hour, the 11th day, and on the 11th month, marks the end of the great war or the first World, when the guns finally fell silent in the western front. At the end of that war which was started in 1914 and lasted till 1918, nmore than 20 million people have lost their lives.

    Since then Britain and its former colonies have celebrated this armistice, or remembrance day including all wars fought there after. Ii is good that Bio has launched the poppy day for the fallen. Many Africans and Caribbeans and people from the sub continent were sent to fight in this wars started by Europeans against their fellow Europeans. But until recently, European history have airbrushed the contributions made by Black Africans in fighting this wars.

    Whilst we honour all those who perished in those wars, and any war there after, I stand to be corrected on this one, but I think it is high time president Bio set a special day in our national calendar, to honour all those who died in the RUF war. Maybe if we do that, the chances of us repeating tbe same mistakes will diminished under his leadership. And one of the ways of reminding all those warmongers in Bio’s bubble is to build a memorial park, with the statue of late President Tejan Kabbah, Chief Hinga Norman and the living like Mrs Zainab Bangura and all those who played an active role, demonstrated around the country to end the civil war in our country. Where possible, a plaque with a list of the names of all those that lost their lives in that senseless war. Maybe erect a headstone for the fifty thousand unknown dead in our country. May God grant us peace in Sierra Leone.

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