The nation yesterday celebrated the 48th Victory Day, marking the moment the country was liberated from the Pakistani occupation forces after a nine-month-long bloodstained war for liberation.
Forty-seven years ago on December 16 1971, Bangladesh was born as an independent country under the leadership of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, after the sacrifice of the lives of three million people and the honour of nearly half a million women.
Different socio-political, educational and cultural institutions and organisations arranged a series of programmes to celebrate the nation's glorious victory.
The government also celebrated the day with different national level programmes.
The day started with the 31-gun salute.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid tributes to the martyrs of the Liberation War by placing floral wreaths at the National Mausoleum at Savar at dawn.
The president first placed the wreath at the altar of the National Memorial with the rising of the sun. He was followed by the PM.
They then stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the martyrs.
A smartly turned out contingent drawn from Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Air Force presented state salute on the occasion when bugles played the last post.
Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokan, AL Joint General Secretaries Advocate Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman, Organizing Secretaries BM Mozammel Haque, AFM Bahauddin Nasim and AKM Enamul Haque Shamim, Office Secretary Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap, Forest and Environment Secretary Delowar Hossain and Deputy Office Secretary Barrister Biplob Barua were present.
Along with them, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda, members of the cabinet, advisers to the prime minister, parliament members, the chiefs of the three services, diplomats and high civil and military officials were also present.
Flanked by senior leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, laid another wreath at the National Memorial as the party chief.
Later, Syed Mahmud Hossain, KM Nurul Huda, Mayor Sayeed Khokan and leaders of other political and socio-cultural organisations placed wreaths at the National Memorial.
They were followed by freedom fighters and their family members, foreign diplomats, leaders of the AL and other different political and social organizations, and people from all walks of life.
Other political and socio-cultural organisations such as Central 14-party, BNP, Gono Forum, Jatiya Oikyafront, Jukto Front, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Workers Party of Bangladesh, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), along with other organisational fronts and professional bodies were present.
Sheikh Hasina also paid tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing wreaths at the portrait of his in front of Bangabandhu Bhaban at the historic Dhanmondi road 32 in the city.
The AL and its associate bodies, different educational institutes and socio-cultural and professional organisations also paid homage to the supreme leader by placing garlands at his portrait.
On the day, a public holiday, the national flag was hoisted atop government, semi-government and private offices as well as offices of autonomous bodies across the country.
The president and PM issued separate messages on the occasion and national dailies across the country brought out special supplements.
State-owned and private televisions channels and radios broadcasted month-long special programmes highlighting the Liberation War. Different organisations held discussions where Liberation War related documentaries were played.
Receptions were held for freedom fighters and the family members of martyrs at city, district and upazila levels.
The AL, led by Presidium Member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, also paid tribute to the mazar of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Tungipara in Gopalganj.
Bangladesh Police also paid its respects to martyred members by placing wreaths at the Razarbagh Mausoleum, where Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Inspector General of Police Dr Javed Patwari and Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Md Asaduzzaman, among others, were present.
Special prayers were offered in mosques and other places of worship, seeking eternal peace for the souls of the martyrs, and peace, progress and prosperity for the country.
To mark the day, Baitul Mukarram National Mosque organised a Quran khwani, milad and dua mahfil at 10:00am under the initiative of Islamic Foundation.
Improved diets were served in jails, hospitals, orphanages and vagrant homes across the country.
Destitute children had gotten the opportunity to visit children's parks and other recreational centres across the country free of cost.
Celebrating victory, Bangladesh missions abroad observed the day with various programmes.