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“A people without memory is a people without history”, warned Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi in Maputo on Wednesday.
Speaking after he inaugurated a monument honouring those who fought for the country’s independence in the national liberation struggle against Portuguese colonial rule (1964-1974), as part of the celebrations of the 55th anniversary of the launch of the armed struggle, on 25 September 1964, Nyusi said the facts and he heritage of the liberation war must be valued and preserved for the benefit of future generations.
“This is not just another monument”, he said. “It is a place where we meet up with our recent past searching for the roots and the reasons that make us what we are today”.
The monument was built, he added, “because our history should be continually rescued, re-interpreted, publicised and preserved by all of us”. The monument “should tell the collective story of the Mozambican people, so that it serves as a reference point for the present and the future”.
Addressing the veterans of the liberation struggle, Nyusi said no price can be put upon their contribution to the construction of the Mozambican nation. “It’s a contribution that serves as a lesson”, he said, “it makes us proud, and is a source of inspiration. Your heroism will never be replaced. It is eternal, despite those who try to hide or manipulate it”.
Hence Mozambicans are committed to continue drawing inspiration from the example of those who fought for national liberation, so that today they may participate in the national development agenda, he declared.
Fittingly, the monument has been built in Combatants’ Square, in the Maputo neighbourhood of Xiquelene. Nyusi said the government has for many years dreamed of turning this square into a monument in memory of those who laid down their lives for the freedom of all Mozambicans.
The monument “makes eternal the achievements of the best sons and daughters of Mozambique, and signals the passage of their testimony to present and future generations”, the President said. “With this monument we want to preserve our eternal gratitude to the fighter who fell while struggling for our independence and dignity as a people”.
On the outer wall of the monument are plaques with the names of the 3,256 fighters who are known to have died in the liberation war.
Source: AIM / Miramar