President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the national celebrations for the 48th Independence Day of Bangladesh on Monday by placing wreaths at the National Memorial at Savar in the morning.
After paying their rich tributes, they stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs of the 1971 Liberation War.
After returning from Savar, the prime minister paid homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing a wreath at his portrait in front of the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi.
Later, Sheikh Hasina hoisted the national flag and led the nation in singing the national anthem simultaneously at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka at around 8am.
She also greeted the freedom fighters on the occasion and released a commemorative postage stamp, a first-day cover and a data card, marking Independence Day.
The prime minister maintained the tradition of sending flowers, fruits and sweetmeats to the war-wounded freedom fighters and members of the martyred freedom fighters' families at Martyred and War-wounded Freedom Fighters' Rehabilitation Centre (Muktijoddha Tower-1) on Gaznavi Road in the city’s Mohammadpur.
Meanwhile, President Hamid and his wife Rashida Khanom hosted a reception at Bangabhaban marking the day, which was a public holiday.
Prime Minister Hasina, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, former president HM Ershad and Sheikh Rehana, the younger daughter of Bangabandhu, joined the reception held on the lawn of the presidential palace.
BNP also paid homage to the Liberation War martyrs by placing a wreath at the National Memorial.
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A child on her father's shoulders at the National Memorial premises in Savar after paying respects to the Liberation War martyrs on the 48th Independence Day on Monday, March 26, 2018 Nadim Hossain/Dhaka Tribune
On March 26, 1971, Bangabandhu declared Bangladesh's independence following the crackdown on unarmed Bangalis at midnight on March 25 by the Pakistani occupation forces.
After the nine-month-long Liberation War, Bangladesh achieved its cherished independence on December 16, 1971 with the supreme sacrifices of three million people.
This year, the nation celebrated the day for the first time since Bangabandhu’s historic March 7 speech received a prestigious place in the register of the world's documentary heritage, maintained by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), on October 30 last year.
In addition, it was the first Independence Day since the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) of the United Nations on March 15 officially declared the eligibility of Bangladesh to graduate from the group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to Developing Country status.
On Monday, the national flag was hoisted atop government and private buildings while the government and semi-government buildings and other public places were illuminated on the auspicious occasion.
Search engine giant Google also created a new doodle on its homepage, marking Bangladesh’s Independence Day.
National daily newspapers brought out special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private radio stations and television channels aired special programs highlighting the significance of the day.
Special prayers were offered at mosques, temples, churches and other places of worship across the country seeking divine blessings for eternal peace of the departed souls of Bangabandhu, four national leaders, Liberation War martyrs and all other patriotic sons of the soil.
Improved diets were served to the inmates of hospitals, jails, old homes and other public institutions marking the day.
Different political parties as well as socio-cultural and professional organizations observed the day with various programs.
Jahangirnagar University campus wore a colourful look as the country's longest Alpona was drawn there, marking the day.
Border Guard Bangladesh and India’s Border Security Force exchanged greetings and sweetmeat at the Hili border in Dinajpur’s Hakimpur upazila.
A colourful cycle procession tilted “Independence Day Ride 2018,” was also brought out by thousands of cyclists in Dhaka.