Ghana Navy holds Memorial Day Anniversary Parade for fallen heroes

The Ghana Navy Thursday, held a Memorial Day Anniversary Parade in honour of officers who lost their lives in their line of duties both in Ghana and globally.

The 10th Ghana Navy Memorial Day and 33rd Anniversary of the bombing of Ghana Navy Ship (GNS) Yogaga in Liberia on September 14, 1990, was marked with a wreath laying and religious parade at the Sekondi Naval Base Ceremonial Jetty, in the Western Region.

Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, Chief of Naval Staff, whose speech was read on his behalf said the event was to solemnly reflect on the sacrifices made by their fallen heroes in the interest of global peace and freedom.

He said: “It is important to constantly remind ourselves that freedom is not free and sometimes it is attained at cost of lives, so we are gathered here today to honour, remember and pay gratitude to our heroes who have served the colours and paid the ultimate price including losing their lives to restore peace particularly in Liberia.”

He noted that the memories of officers and ratings who lost their lives in the shelling of the GNS Yogaga in Liberia during a peacekeeping mission 33 years ago and other gallant personnel who died in the course of their duties could not be forgotten.

Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister, the Guest of Honour at the parade said it was vital for the country to remember for eternity the gallant officers and ratings who laid down their lives so that others could have life and peace.

He said it was important to remember the fallen heroes to inspire the citizenry to continue to keep faith with the values of selflessness, loyalty, honour and integrity which the gallant officers and ratings lived by and died for.

“While we can never repay the debt owed to those who lost their lives defending humanity and our nation, we must do everything we can to uphold our commitment to those who put on the uniform of this great nation,” he added.

Mr Darko-Mensah indicated that the government recognized with pride, the sacrifices of men and women in uniform and therefore, pledged to continue to do everything in its power to provide the needed coordination and tools necessary for the achievement of their goals.

To end a civil war in Liberia, a group of West African Nations under the auspices of ECOWAS took steps to send peacekeeping Force to Monrovia in August 1990.

The Forces was known as the Economic Community of West Africa Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) with troops drawn from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra-Leone, Gambia, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger where the Ghana Navy contributed two ships namely; GNS Achimota and GNS Yogaga, as part of the Task Force.

On September 14, 1990, the GNS Yogaga was attacked by a faction involved in the civil war killing three crew members of the ship on the spot.

In all, fifteen ECOMOG personnel lost their lives and about twenty-five were wounded.

Similarly, several Naval Personnel paid the ultimate price on internal and external operations in the pursuit of global peace and security.

It is in memory and honour of these fallen heroes that the Armed Forces High Command gave approval for the Ghana Navy to set aside September 14, to commemorate the life and achievements of the fallen comrades annually.

Source: GNA

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