We all have lost someone (parents, children, siblings, friends, families, colleagues, neighbors) to the cold hands of death. Many of such cases are avoidable. It is either as a result of negligence, recklessness, greed or wickedness of the wicked. The pain we bear from such cases are unbearable, we grieve and continue to wish it didn’t happen but then they are gone only to remain forever in our heart. Regardless of our differences, we are united by the pain we feel when cases of avoidable deaths occur. It is avoidable yet it persist. As such, more than ever before the argument for having a national day of mourning on The 28th day of May of every year is all the more compelling.
Wikipedia defines a national day of mourning as a day marked by mourning and memorial activities observed among the majority of a country’s populace. They are designated by the national government. Such days include those marking the death or funeral of a renowned individual or individuals from that country or elsewhere, or the anniversary of such a death or deaths. Flying a flag of that country and/or military flag at half-mast is a common symbol.
The significance of this occasion in Nigeria, is that we all get to collectively remember our loses not as individuals but as a nation and evaluate our actions and inactions, that has led to the death of others (Stealing of man holes, diverting money meant for construction of drainages, hospitals, roads for personal use, abuse of power, hatred/jealousy that triggers the desire to kill and destroy others, greed and grievances on the part of the rulers and the ruled among many other reasons).
The importance of having a national day of mourning, a day after children’s day and a day that precedes the inauguration of a new government is to remind ourselves and the government of the importance of the lives of every citizen of our dear country Nigeria, at home and abroad.
We mourn collectively to take caution, we mourn collectively to remain committed to ensuring peace reigns, we mourn collectively to remind ourselves that united we stand, divided we fall. We mourn collectively to send a clear message to the perpetrators of evil that their act of wickedness though painful has made us more determined to build a country that values the life of everyone and will flourish despite challenges.
National day of mourning is a day to remember the dead and raise the hope of the living.