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Commomorating the sacre lives of Tigrai

By Ezana Sehay
Tigrai Online June 24, 2021



For us, Tegaru, June 22nd is a special day:  It is our martyr’s day, a day we remember the fallen heroes of the struggle against the Ethiopian genocidal regime Dreg.

It is the day that provides us an opportunity to celebrate the most sacred act of humanity. The day not only to sanctify the dead but also provide moral nourishment to those living. It is also a day to revisit our history and look to the future. In other words, if the saying “those who forget the past are destined to repeat it “true, martyr’s day is integral to ensuring a better, more peaceful Tigray for future generations.

We should not forget the reasons that drove those gallant sons and daughters of Mother Tigray to dedicate their valued lives. --- Those were the days when morality was defined by selfish needs; when individualism had overtaken communal values; when the underpinning of human rightists had been eroded, when tyranny in the name of ideology had turned the country {Ethiopia} upside down.

In the face of such evil and fascism most Ethiopians – succumb to the regime, others abandoned and fled the country, the rest become bystanders – for Tegaru revolutionaries neither option were acceptable. And there fore they decided to do what their forefathers [Tegaru] did before them: liberate the dreaded country [Ethiopia] from that atrocious regime.

Sound familiar? They say, “history repeats itself.”  In this case, not only does history repeat itself, but it also rhymes. In fact, it feels that history never actually ended – for the last 30 years, it was in interval phase – the enemies who declared war on our people seven months ago, are the very same ones.


Need another proof? The lion-hearted leaders we lost at the beginning of the on-going war: The honorable, Seyoum Mesfin, Abay Tsehaye, Asmelash Woldeselassie, Secoture Getachew and other veterans of the past war of liberation…now murdered by those they emancipated – go figure.

My fellow Tegaru! It is true, forgetting the past is dangerous. Tens of thousands sacrificed their bodies and souls so that our people and Ethiopians can live in a society defined by liberty and democracy.

But who benefited from the sacrifices made by our gallant heroes of the 17-year Woyane revolution? Are those sacrifices in vain? Are questions that have occupied the minds of most Tegaru, including yours truly.

The answer to the first question is simple: others. That has been the history of Tegaru. We win wars others reap the fruit of our victory. Concerning the later: No! the Woyane revolution is and will remain to be the embodiment of the people of Tigray’s resoluteness.

As we speak, in the midst of yet another war declared on our homeland by a coalition of inveterate and new enemies – as we look for some guidance, or at least a reference point, as we turn to history to clarify the present and a way to prepare for the long march into the future, we have found the answer in the spirit of the 17-year Woyane revolution.

Hence the tradition continues. At this very moment, our gallant members of the Tigray Defense Force [TDF] are paying with their lives to protect our security and national integrity, by taking the fight where our enemies hide out is, be in our homeland [Tigray] or beyond our borders, because it is better to fight evil in its own domain rather than have it knock down your front door.


Yes – evil. It is important to recognize it when it stares at you in the face. And the heck with moral relativism. Anyone who is willing to commit mass murder, sexual assault, loot public and civilian valuables, desecrate places of worship is, in my view evil.

Yes, we have come through moral equivalent of the atrocities committed against our people by the Derg regime and more, we are in a state of existential threat.  Notwithstanding, the all-encompassing difficulties, our people revisited the proud legacy of Woyane and found inspiration and remain determined.

When our government issued a decree for mass mobilization, it got more than anyone could have reasonably expected. Across the nation of Tigray, in rural and cities, there is a willingness to pay any price for the preservation and protection of our national identity.

Tegaru of all ages, gender, religion, profession have joined our Tegadelti [ members of the defense forces] fully supported by those at home and in Diaspora are making the tough yards against our enemies.

We understand, this war will cost us dearly, perhaps more than we can possibly imagine, even as we scan the papers, click on TVs and social media feeds for the growing list of crimes committed against our people.

Be that it may, the fight must go on for a couple of reasons. First it is a war imposed on us, in other words they (our enemies) started it, but we must finish it. The second reason the cardinal message being relayed by our leaders is – this war is to end all wars.

In a nutshell, June 22nd is not only the day we remember the sacrifices made by our heroes, but it is also the day we celebrate the precious gift they left us ---- freedom. Simon Wiesenthal was right when he said, “freedom is not a gift from heaven, and we must fight for it each day of our lives.” After all the concept of freedom is a social construct that was created by humans as a result of centuries of oppression and conflict.

Therefore, let us remember our fallen heroes who gave their lives so that our people could be free.  But we should also remember that freedom is never absolute, nor is it permanent. That is why it is also wise to remember that we must always be ready to safeguard it. That is exactly what our contemporary heroes are up to.