An 89-year old World War II veteran, Ex-Sergeant Samuel Cobbina, brought fond memories of the agony many soldiers went through as he read the ‘Binyon verses’ at the 72nd Remembrance Day Service, held at the Cenotaph in Kumasi, on Saturday, November 11.
The event aimed at paying tribute to fallen Ghanaian soldiers who perished in their line of duty, and also honoured the gallant officers and men, who contributed in diverse ways to sustain peacekeeping missions globally.
“They went with songs to the battle, they were young: Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow. They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted. They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them”, Ex-Sergeant Cobbina read at the solemn occasion.
This was after the siren had been sounded to signify the end of hostilities at exactly 1100 hours at the 11th minute.
The last post was then sounded with a two-minute silence also being observed in remembrance of the departed souls.
The programme saw a total contingent of nine officers and 172 men mounting a parade in honour of the fallen heroes, under the command of Captain Francis Ackom of the Fourth Battalion Infantry Brigade.
They were drawn from the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Ghana Police Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Prisons Service, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and a representation from the Veterans Association of Ghana (VAG).
Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Elizabeth Agyemang, laid a wreath on behalf of the government and people of Ghana, while Brigadier-General Cosmos Alhassan, General Officer Commanding the Central Command of the GAF, also laid one on behalf of the security services.
Baffour Amankwatia Asare Owusu VI, representing the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu, laid one on behalf of the chiefs and people, with Ex-WO1 George Appiah of VAG laying one on behalf of the veterans.
The service had in attendance representatives of the various religious bodies who took turns to say a prayer for the fallen soldiers.