Martyr’s Day is observed every year on 30 November in the United Arab Emirates. It is a time of remembrance for those who have sacrificed their lives in the service of their country.
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Although Martyr’s Day commemorates the fallen in civil and humanitarian services, its emphasis is clearly on military martyrs. The reason for choosing November 30th for the holiday is that the first UAE soldier to die in defense of his country occurred on this date.
This was during the Battle of Greater Tunb, when Iran attempted to seize offshore Emirati islands just prior to the nation’s formal unification on December 1st and 2nd. The first martyr was then killed by Iranians after he refused to lower his Emirate’s flag and submit to the invaders.
Other fallen servicemen who will be remembered include those who died liberating Kuwait during the First Gulf War and the 45 who have recently died in the Saudi-led alliance against Iranian intervention in Yemen.
There are many ceremonies and events organized by local governments in observance of Marytr’s Day. In every Emirate and every city, there are remembrances of fallen heroes and their acts of heroism. Both Emirati citizens and the large expatriate community are invited to participate in these tributes.