Unselfishly, you left your fathers and mothers,
You left behind your sisters and your brothers.
you left your beloved children and wives,
You put on hold, your dreams-your lives.

On the mountains of Sahil yourself planted
To fight for those whose freedom you granted.
Without your sacrifice, their cause would be lost
But you carried onward, no matter what the cost.

Many horrors you had endured and seen.
Many faces had haunted your dreams.
You cheered as your enemies littered the ground;
You cried as your brothers sisters fell all around.

When it was over, some of you came back home,
Some were left with memories to face all alone;
Some found themselves in the company of friend
As their crosses cast shadows across the land.

Those who survived were forever scarred
Emotionally, physically, permanently marred.
Those who do now sleep eternally
‘Neath the ground they had given their lives to keep us free.

With my right hand upon my heart, I feel The pride with your grace
In the tears that now stream down on my face

As our flag waves above you, in her glory and grace.
Freedom was the gift that you unselfishly gave
Pain and death was the price that you ultimately paid.

To our brothers and sisters in the arms force
I want you to know, you are never alone
For we are, along side you in diaspora or at home
But, the hardest thing for a person to be
Is you, Fighting to keep us free

I also see you, YPFDJ, standing among them all
Standing so strong , proud and tall
The world looks at you, but does not see
No warry, keep marching to keep our homeland free

If I am still on earth and breathing
Wherever I may be on May 24 living
You will find me your legacy defending
Shouting Awet n’ Hafash ostensibly celebrating

I’m here to night to say, to let you know
That you are loved, even if it doesn’t show
You fought for our hopes, dreams, and liberty
You fought for our freedom…… A hero to be

Every day, I give my utmost admiration
To those who had fought and still fighting to defend our nation.

By Dr. Fesshaye Embaye