Ireland marks national day of commemoration

Dublin : A grand ceremony has been held here to mark Ireland's National Day of Commemoration, to remember those who sacrificed their lives for the nation in past wars as well as in the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins and Prime Minister Leo Varadkar attended the ceremony which was held on Sunday at Collins Barracks in Dublin city centre, Xinhua news agency reported. The ceremony included a military parade by the three services of the Irish armed forces, an interdenominational prayer service, a wreath-laying by the president and an observance of one-minute silence. Songs and music related to the tributes for those who died in past wars or on the UN missions were also performed at the ceremony. An estimated one thousand people including senior government officials, diplomatic corps, family members of those who died in past wars and on the UN peacekeeping missions, as well as local residents attended the ceremony. Relatives of the participants of the 1916 Easter Rising, an armed uprising to end the British rule in Ireland during Easter Week, April 1916, which was brutally suppressed by the British army, were also invited to the event. The ceremony ended with an Air Corps flyover. The National Day of Commemoration is marked annually in Ireland on the Sunday nearest to July 11, a day when the Irish War of Independence ended in 1921. Various activities to mark the National Day of Commemoration were also held in six other major cities of Ireland on Sunday.