Commemoration Day is observed every year on 1 December 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 Commemoration Day commemorates the fallen in civil and humanitarian services, its emphasis is clearly on military martyrs. In previous years, this holiday was held a day earlier on 30 November. The reason for choosing 30 November for the holiday was 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 1 and 2 December. 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 organised by local governments in observance of Commemoration 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.