On this day in 1971, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman formally declared independence and urged the Bengali nation to liberate the country from the clutches of the Pakistani occupation army.
Unarmed Bangladeshis, who had been attacked and massacred by Pakistani soldiers, started an extensive bush war against the occupation forces.
After the nine-month war with the supreme sacrifice of three million people and modesty of some two lakh women, the Bengali nation achieved the cherished independence on December 16, 1971.
The day was heralded with a thirty-one gun salute at dawn.
On the occasion, acting President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia placed wreaths at the National Memorial at Savar on the outskirts of the capital.
The Prime Minister also paid rich tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing wreaths at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in the city.
She also sent sweetmeats, fruits and bouquets to war-wounded freedom fighters at Juddahata Muktijoddha Punarbason Kendra at Mohammadpur in the capital.
The national flag was hoisted atop government and private buildings, while the government and semi-government buildings and other public places were illuminated on the auspicious occasion.
Road islands and dividers were decorated with flags and colorful festoons welcoming the Independence Day.
The day was a public holiday.
Different political, social and cultural organisations held various programmes to mark the day.
A rally of children and juveniles and parade were held at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the morning where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was present at the chief guest.
Some ships of Bangladesh Navy remained open for visitors at Sadarghat in Dhaka, BIWTA Jetty Matla Ghat in Narayanganj, Naval Jetty at Newmooring in Chittagong, BIWTA Rocket Ghat in Khulna, Naval Jetty in Mongla and BIWTA Jetty in Barisal from 2 pm to sunset.
Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force bands performed at Crescent Lake (Sangsad Bhaban area), Farmgate Park area and Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur respectively from 3pm to 5pm.
Besides, a band party drawn from the three services, Border Guard Bangladesh, Police and Ansar and VDP performed at Suhrawardy Udyan for two hours from 3pm.
Special prayers were offered at mosques, temples, churches and pagodas seeking divine blessings for the souls of the martyrs of the War of Liberation, as well as for peace, stability and progress of the country.
Improved diets were served in hospitals, jails, orphanages and vagrant homes, the Muktijoddha Kendra and other charitable organisations.
Bangladesh missions abroad hoisted the national flag and organised discussions, cultural functions and receptions on the occasion.
National dailies brought out supplements, while state-owned and private televisions and radio stations broadcast special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.
Acting President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia issued separate messages, greeting the country’s people on this solemn and joyous occasion.