Independence Day is fast approaching and the familiar scenes play out again. Over the years I have gone from watching starry eyed to taking down notes (because the teacher said I had to), then for curiosity sake and to since recently, watching the naval ships, jets and helicopters on Marine Drive. Though the whys of watching have changed one thing has remained constant, I have watched.
This year will be no different but as I ponder over the recent occurrences and the rough time our country has gone through I believe that aside from the military strength celebrated on Galle Face Green there is one more important factor that should be celebrated.
As a mother striving to raise her kids with love and loyalty for their motherland I am this year determined to celebrate the people of our land.
I am a die hard loyalist but the last few months have made me lose faith many times over with the governance of our land. Although we as a nation hit an all time low, I believe the unity we showed in not allowing corruption to override truth must be celebrated. It was a national victory, a victory that maybe we all feel is still far from won but nevertheless a step taken in the right direction. It was won by all Sri Lankans who worked together irrespective of race, religion and political opinion.
To me aside from the beauty of our land the goodness of our people is something we need to celebrate. As a nation we are always eager to help. Many are the times a shop keeper has brought what I need to my car because there is no place to park or it’s too cumbersome to get down with tired children. I think with fondness of the many trishaw drivers or pedestrians who have helped me find my way when I was searching for a location. From the man who stopped to help change my tyre in the rain, to the man who stopped his vehicle to gather help and lift my car out of a ditch, they all make me believe in the people of this land.
There are still many Sri Lankans who return from obtaining foreign qualifications to serve our nation. Many awards were won by the daughters of our nation just this last year and they are worthy of celebration.
I believe we as a nation must celebrate each other because if the truth be told, during a national calamity we become a united force that is hard to equal. We might have power hungry corrupt people, but we also have good patriots. People who still believe in the country our forefathers were willing to give their lives for.
As a mother I believe this Independence Day my duty lies in reminding my children that despite all what has happened, there have been Sri Lankans who have done good, people who despite the darkness shine bright and help me to continue to believe in my country, Sri Lanka.