TRIBUTE TO THE FALLEN.
Posted on May 22nd, 2009

By Devinda Fernando

Brothers and Sisters, let us take a moment to bow our heads in honor of those True Sons of Sri Lanka who cannot be with us today in what we acknowledge as our greatest moment as a Nation. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ For as we celebrate today, and each day onwards, we remember this as the day that Tyranny lays defeated.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Therefore, we must take a pause to remember the ones to whom the credit should truly go.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  For the glory does not belong to the politicians nor to ordinary people like you or I.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The glory belongs to those who put themselves in harmƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s way so that no harm ever came to us.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  I speak only of the valiant men and women of the Sri Lankan Armed forces to whom we owe this victory to.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

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These are our finest men and women who bravely stood up to defend our country when the rest of us hoped we would not have to.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  They marched towards the enemy when the rest of us took cover for safety.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  They never asked us for much, not money, not fame, nor petty material things that you and I often grab for in our daily existences.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  They only asked us for our support, so that when they slept in mud holes while we slept on comfy beds, and while they risked death while we enjoyed normalcy, that they would know that what they fight for means something to us.

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And now from out of the darkness and into the light we head as a United Nation, a Strong Nation, and a Wise Nation, it is easy for us to put aside those memories of times when the future was uncertain.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  But it bears the utmost importance that as a country we pass on the tale of those of us who gave everything to ensure our country lives onƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦ that we live on.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Their tale must continue to be told so that we never forget, and that we never allow this to happen again.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

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So I only ask that you please remember them in your hearts.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  They were our Generation, they were our brothers, they were our blood. So when they made the ultimate sacrifice today, so that the rest of us all have a tomorrow, please remember them.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Next year when Sri Lanka is a better place, remember them.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Three years from now when you complete school and start working a normal job, remember them.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Five years from now when you settle down and get married, remember them. Ten years from now when you watch your children grow in safety, security, and happiness,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦ remember them.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Thirty years from now when your childrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s children speak their first words please remember them.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  For as long as we remain a nation, please remember them, as they are the true sons of our soil.

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For the size of a nation is not measured by the number of people who live within its borders, but by the number of people who stand up and choose to be counted as its citizens.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ It is measured by those who contribute to its prosperity, and not by those who suck from its sap.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  It is measured by those who foster goodwill, and not those who perpetrate exploitation.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  It is measured by those who adhere to the spirit of our laws, and not those who use our freedoms against us. It is measured by the number of selfless acts, not by the number of self serving ones.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  For we cannot survive as a culture, nor as a society, nor a Nation if everyone only looked to serve themselves.

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And while Sri Lanka may not be geographically large, and we have lost so many along the way, I can still say with the utmost of confidence that we are a Large Nation indeed.

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Engal raanuva veerargalukku, anaithu makkalin saarbaga veera vanakkathai therivipathodu endrum em manathil anbaiyum aatharavayum peruveergal.

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Oba sada kalayatama amaraneeyayi, api obata sada kalayatama kruthagnajanakai, obe namaya apa hadawath thula sada nomakeeyayi, Sri Lanka mathawage puthunuwani, jathiyama obata uththamachara karai

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Forever remembered, forever indebted to,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  forever in our hearts, sons of Sri Lanka, our Nation salutes you.

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