There was a time here, in our motherland where we used to wake up trembling with fear… where our parents were afraid to send their children to schools or even to take a step out of their homes. Driven out of fear for more than three decades; on 18th of May 2009 us, the Si Lankans were able to liberate our country from the terrorists for once and for all thanked to our National Forces. In this journey towards the freedom, thousands and thousands of those brave souls were lost while another thousand being severely injured.
Even though it has been 8 years of receiving peace, the dark scars of the cruel war still remain buried deep inside. We could never forget our brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives and blood to our motherland. So, to show them our gratitude, respect and to remind them that we have not forgotten them and that they are forever in our hearts; the SLIIT Rotaractors decided to join hands to spend a day with our heroes at Ranawiru Sewana, Ragama. This idea was initiated as a Community Service project, chaired by Rtr. Umanga De Silva under the name ‘A day With Heroes’.
On 16th of September at around 11.30 a.m. the young Rotaractors and all the participants gathered at the SLIIT premises and headed to ‘Ranaviru Sewana’ to honor our brave soldiers who sacrificed their future to ours. Around 1.30 p.m. we arrived the destination. We formed small groups and went through the premises, to each ward and had a friendly chat with our heroes reminding them that we haven’t forgotten them. It was a great experience indeed; sharing our life stories with them and listening to theirs. Listening to their life stories and their sacrifices brought tears to each and everyone’s eyes. For most of them ‘Ranawiru Sewana’ has become their home and it was really nice to see them living happily in harmony and their happy faces expressed it all. They were really thankful for us for coming because it was a change to their daily schedules as well.
In the evening, we all gathered to the auditorium where the Rotaractors had organized a small entertainment event and a tea party. There, Mr. Harsha Wijesooriya and his crew presented a small introductory session about remote aircrafts and how they can make one during their free time. Most of the soldiers were interested in this idea and we are glad that our efforts to make this session productive for them was a success.
After that session, the SLIIT Got Talent band crew; Ashain, Panini and Ayodhya; and Sachintha from D.S Theewra performed on the stage. The young Rotaractors and our brave heroes also joined with them and it was a happy evening filled with laughter and joy with good music and dancing.
Our sincere thanks to Brigadier Shantha Rajakaruna-Director of Rehabilitation and Brigadier Aruna Muhandiram- Director of Operations who helped us in getting permission for this visit. Also, we appreciate the efforts of all the officers, Rankers and the officer in charge of Ranaviru Sewana-Ragama. Also, we would like to thank Mr Piyasena and Mr. Panduka Mallawarachchi who arranged the transport for this visit and our lecturer in charge Mr. Janaka Wijekoon for all the guidance and the support given.
“A Day with Heroes” was indeed a wonderful day spent with our heroes who sacrificed so much for our mother country and it was a great opportunity for us all to salute them for the service they rendered. Some of those brave souls were having the feeling that the citizens of our country have forgotten them and their service; but now they know that they will be our heroes forever in our hearts.
“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.”
– Abraham Lincoln