The nation is celebrating 53rd Independence and National Day today in a befitting manner, with the resolution to take the country forward imbued with the spirit of Liberation War.
On March 26, 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared Bangladesh's independence following the crackdown on unarmed Bangalees on the night of March 25 by the Pakistani occupation forces.
After the nine-month long Liberation War, with the supreme sacrifices of three million martyrs, Bangladesh achieved its cherished independence on December 16, 1971.
The government has undertaken elaborate programmes marking Independence and National Day.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid tributes to the martyrs of Liberation War — placing wreaths at the National Memorial in Savar this morning.
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 there in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs of Liberation War.
A smartly turned-out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force presented a state salute on the occasion, while the bugles played the last post.
Later, flanked by senior Awami League leaders, Sheikh Hasina, also chief of the ruling party, laid another wreath at the altar of the memorial.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also paid tribute to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman this morning.
On her return from the National Memorial, the Prime Minister paid homage to the Father of the Nation by placing a wreath at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 in Dhaka.
After placing the wreath, she stood there in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memory of Bangabandhu, the architect of Bangladesh’s independence.
Sheikh Hasina stayed at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum for some time.
Flanked by central leaders of Awami League, Sheikh Hasina laid another wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu on behalf of AL.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages extending heartfelt greetings and warm felicitations to Bangladeshi citizens at home and abroad.
The day began with a gun salute and wreath-laying ceremony at Savar's National Memorial in honor of the Liberation War martyrs.
At sunrise, the national flag was flown over all government, semi-government, private, and autonomous buildings, and all significant buildings and establishments will be illuminated.
National dailies have brought out special supplements, while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private radio stations and television channels are airing special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Shishu Academy, National Museum, Liberation War Museum, and other social and cultural organizations will host seminars, cultural programs, painting and sports competitions for children, as well as film and documentary screenings on the Liberation War.
Families of martyrs and freedom fighters will be honored at the metropolitan, district, and upazila levels today. Bangladesh Post Office Department unveiled a special commemorative stamp to mark the day.
Meanwhile, different religious institutions will hold special prayers and doa mehfil praying for the country's peace, development and prosperity.
Special food will be distributed at institutions like hospitals, jails, children's homes, old-age homes, and day care centers.
Children’s parks and museums will remain open to all throughout the day. Also, vessels of the Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard will remain open from 2 pm until the evening for people to visit at Chattogram, Khulna, Mongla, Payra Port, and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) terminals in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Barishal and Chandpur.
Also read: Nation remembers Liberation War heroes
Similar programmes at district and upazila levels and Bangladesh embassies in different countries will be arranged to highlight the significance of Independence Day.