His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika on Thursday, November 1, inaugurated the Poppy Week at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe ahead of Remembrance Sunday which will be held on Sunday, November 11.
During the function, President Mutharika bought the first Poppy flower at K1million as a way of fundraising for the Commonwealth Ex-Service Leagues of Malawi (COLEM).
In his speech the President emphasized the need for the war survivors to get the best support from government and all citizens for their improved welfare.
Poppy Day is a Memorial Day when we join the members of Commonwealth in honour of our armed force- members of the Kings African Rifles (KAR) who died on duty during the First and Second world wars which were fought between 1891-1945.
Below is the full speech:
Our World War Soldiers Showed us Patriotism
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY PROF. ARTHUR PETER MUTHARIKA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI
DURING THE INAUGURATION OF THE 2018 POPPY WEEK AT KAMUZU PALACE 1ST NOVEMBER, 2018
Welcome once again to Kamuzu Palace. I know most of you have been here before.
We meet every year to inaugurate the remembrance of soldiers who died in the First and the Second World Wars.
Many of the soldiers are no longer with us. But their spirit of patriotism is still with us. And their families are still with us. We need to be there for them. They need our support.
From Poppy Day, what we particularly commemorate is the spirit of patriotism and service to one’s country.
This is the time that reminds us the spirit of true patriotism. This is the spirit of putting country first.
This is the spirit that we all need to emulate. We must all learn to walk this spirit of patriotism.
There are many people who put their personal interests first before their country. This encourages us to be selfish.
That is why this country is full of politics of destruction. That is also why most people are full of jealous to see others prospering.
We need to change this mindset and learn to serve our country selflessly. Malawi is the only country that we have. This is our only country. Let us love our country.
As we honour these patriots, I also want us as a nation to remember the importance of celebrating our elders.
We are where we are because some people worked hard for this country. They are the ones who built the foundations of the nation. Elders are the cornerstones of every society.
I urge all Malawians to remember the patriots and elders who struggled for this country. Let us place them in our special heart.
Today, we launch the poppy flower as a symbol of remembrance for those patriots. Since 1921, we have always used the Poppy flower as a symbol of this special remembrance.
Following this launch, the Commonwealth Ex-Service League of Malawi (CELOM) will immediately commence the sale of the Poppies.
I appeal to all my fellow Malawians to purchase the poppies. Show your patriotism by buying a Poppy Flower to support our veterans. I just bought one.
Let me commend the Commonwealth Ex-Service League of Malawi Committee for the selfless job of looking after the War Veterans. Keep it up.
This said, I declare the 2018 Poppy Week officially inaugurated.
Thank you and God bless us all.