Celebrating the Past and the Present and Inspiring Future Heroes: ZCC Statement for the Heroes Day Commemoration
Today, the 9th of August 2021, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches joins the whole nation in commemorating Heroes Day. This year’s commemoration comes at a time when Zimbabwe is battling the global pandemic of COVID-19 which continues to ravage the lives of individuals, families, and communities.
On this heroes’ day, we acknowledge that the independence we enjoy today came at a cost. A generation of young women and men left their homes and we forced to forgo their chances to education and family life in pursuit of a Zimbabwe free from all forms of segregation and inequalities. We celebrate these heroes, some of whom are laid at the National Heroes Acre and different places while others are still alive today and can tell their stories of their self-giving.
In 2021 Heroes commemorations, we do not forget the sacrifices of the past but do also acknowledge the sacrifices of the men and women who continue to fight for the preservation and enhancement of the dignity of fellow Zimbabweans. Some of such heroes and heroines at the frontline against the COVID-19 crisis are health care workers, caregivers, innovators, and community organizers.
The current struggle demands that key institutions in our communities to act, reflect and find convergence in pursuit for holistic and accessible healing. Such joint action must also lead to the renewal and reform of our health institutions beyond COVID-19. The post COVID-19 national dialogue will ensure that no one is left behind in the journey of healing the nation to enjoy all the fruits of the struggle of the liberation for which our heroes and heroines fought for.
As the church joins the nation to celebrate our past and present heroes, we desire the inspiration of future of men and women who will bravely execute the many other outstanding battles that still bedevil Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe must win the war against gender-based violence, femicide, early childhood marriages that continue to affect women and girls with alarming proportions. Our new heroes must help families and communities to heal from the loss of loved ones due to this COVID-19 pandemic which has magnified the many social ills, including bringing untold grief, suffering and hopelessness.
We need to heroically work to repair the struggling health system, hunger and poverty, as well as the continued fragmentation of our societies. Our continued struggle must be executed under the inspiration of justice. As the scriptures say that God is the “Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are justice. “A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4). True heroism lies in the pursuit of just as God is our standard for justice. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are also called to pursues this heroism by doing justice and advocating for justice.
As such we celebrate today’s heroes who build on the firm foundation of our wartime heroes. These include:
- Those who lead and pursue justice on behalf of the oppressed, the weak, and marginalized of society (Isaiah 1:17)
- Those who faithfully ensuring vaccines are adequately supplied without seeking personal enrichment in the process
- Those at the frontline of sharing accurate information for the prevention of the Covid-19, those caring for the infected, as well as those accompanying the dying to ensure they depart with dignity.
- Those who are providing practical acts of love to those in need and facing hunger (James 1:27),
- Those who continue to pray and petition God to intervene in our situations and so that we have strengthen to face the present and future challenges
Happy heroes day to you all!