KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
Rwanda on Thursday marked National Heroes’ Day across
the country and paid tribute to the national heroes of the country.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame, senior government officials and
members of diplomatic corps joined families of Rwanda’s fallen
heroes in laying wreaths at the heroes’ mausoleum in Remera Sector,
capital city of Kigali.
Besides the main ceremony, the celebrations were taken to the
grassroots across the country, where Rwandans gathered together to
reflect on the deeds of heroes and their contribution to the
The Thursday’s events were preceded by a week-long nationwide
campaign about the values of heroism, which mainly focused on
calling on citizens, especially the youth, to embrace Rwanda’s four
main values of unity, working hard, patriotism, and integrity.
The day remains important for Rwandans, said Deo Nkusi, the
executive secretary of the Chancellery for Heroes, National Orders
and Decorations of Honour, after the ceremony of laying wreaths.
The chancellery is responsible for the identification of persons or
groups of persons who have distinguished themselves in performing
heroic acts and in rendering exemplary service to the nation.
Nkusi further urged Rwandan youth to pick a leaf from fallen heroes.
Rwanda’s National Heroes are classified into three categories named
in Kinyarwanda as Imanzi, Imena, and Ingenzi.
The Imanzi category is the highest order, featuring people who even
sacrificed their own lives in the interest of the nation.
This category consists of Major-General Fred Rwigema, who died on
the battle field on the onset of liberation war, and the “Unknown
Soldier” representing all soldiers who lost their lives in the
The Imena category has people with proven track record such as King
Mutara III Rudahigwa, Agathe Uwilingiyimana and Nyange Secondary
School students who were killed by militias after refusing to divide
themselves along ethnic lines.
While the last category, called Ingenzi is for living heroes though
the list is yet to be made public.