Those who sacrificed

A saga of patriotism, bravery, misfortune, and tragedy.

Life without liberty is like a body without spirit -Khalil Gibran.

War of liberation comes but only once in the history of a nation.

Our beloved motherland Bangladesh had also bathed in the blood of millions of martyrs for its freedom from the Pakistani oppressors.

On March 25, 1971, when the marauding Pakistan army suddenly souped on the innocent.

And unarmed people of the country in the dark of the night, especially at key places in Dhaka City.

Dhaka University, the Rajarbagh police line, and the EPR Headquarters in Peelkhana, killing tens of thousands of people.

It effectively ignited the fire of the War of Liberation in the country. 

Disoriented and dismayed for a day or two by the extent of cruelty and mayhem, the Bangali elements of the armed forces, the police, the ansars.

The common people of the country gathered their bearings and began to confront the enemy with whatever they could lay their hands on. 

The War of Liberation had begun in full swing.

It was the time for a litmus test, it was time to discover where your heart lies.

It was a time to display one’s patriotism to fight for the country’s liberation or look the other way around.

It was an article of faith, of loyalty, and a supreme display of patriotism.

Our War of Liberation, while producing some cowards, collaborators, and mere spectators.

Also produced a group of brilliant sons and daughters of the soil to not only fight the enemy but also to lay down their lives for the cause of the nation. 

As the War of Liberation gained traction, the paucity of officers in the Mukti Bahini was felt acutely.

And the provisional government decided to expand the officer’s corps by recruiting competent.

And able candidates from amongst the freedom fighters, who had already gained some battlefield experience by that time.

There were two batches of officer cadets: 1st Short Service (SS) and 2nd SS.

The 1st SS cadets joined the training camp in Murtee, an Indian secluded.

High mountainous hamlet straddling between Sikkim and Bhutan in June 1971 and was commissioned on October 9, 1971.

Two officers of this course embraced martyrdom during the war.

The 2nd SS joined the Murtee in the first week of November 1971 but  the country was liberated on December 16, 1971.

Before they received their Commission. Subsequently.

The second batch of officers was given commission in independent Bangladesh on August 5, 1972, following a three-month compact course.

A look at the composition of these two courses will give a mind-boggling revelation that 90% of them who were university and college students, not only were city dwellers.

Prosperous and from strong family backgrounds — but all of them were extraordinarily brilliant students.

With the potential of reaching any height in their future careers.

Some of them were also the members of the daredevil crack platoon of Dhaka, whose name sent a chill down the spine of the enemy.

This small group of patriots, unlike their many peers, decided to sacrifice the comfort and safety of their lives, their present and their future to free their country.

Just to mention two names: Sheikh Kamal, the elder son of Bangabandhu joined the 1st SS, and Mahfuz Anam (current editor of The Daily Star).

Son of renowned lawyer, author, and politician Abul Mansur Ahmed, joined the 2nd SS.

No amount of accolades or rewards can truly measure up to their courage and display of patriotism.

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