Bangladesh stands at forty six today and while we celebrate it, we need to take time to introspect as we observe our Victory Day. The winds of freedom blew across the land, across the villages and towns, but we paid a very dear price. There was bloodletting, pillage and plunder and it shattered the very fabric of our society and economy. Millions died as a marauding Pakistani occupation army let loose its firepower on a populace that was unarmed. And as the nine-month long war came to an end on December 16, 1971, we came face to face with the horrors of war as we counted the millions dead, the hundreds of thousands of women violated and the brightest of our intelligentsia murdered on the eve of victory.
Yes, we celebrate the day with much pomp but we also observe the day with heavy hearts knowing we paid a terrible price for the freedom successive generations take for granted today. As we look back to those dark days, we pay homage to our brave fighters and acknowledge the assistance we received from friendly foreign nations like India and the erstwhile Soviet Union for their unwavering support during the complex cold war era.
In this year's Victory Day supplement, we take a stroll down memory lane and remember some of the foreign correspondents who took great personal risks to break the news of genocide happening in this land to the world. There are personal reflections of those who lived through the harrowing months, either on the battlefield or in far-off lands. We trust our readers will enjoy the special supplement.