March 18, 2017
A national day of mourning is a day marked by mourning and memorial activities observed among the majority of a country’s populace. They are designated by the national government. Such days include those marking the death or funeral of a renowned individual or individuals from that country or elsewhere, or the anniversary of such a death or deaths. Flying a flag of that country and/or military flag at half-staff is a common symbol.
National mourn is beyond and more than the individual factor since it is of public and national concern and oriented matter. Nations declare national days of mourn as symbol of nation’s grief and sympathy, which they face within their given domain or outside that do have some kind of connection and relation within their own domain. In such state of being, government simply suggests everybody feel sad and be respectful.
And few people ask, is it possible to mourn for the death of a person whom you do not have any given direct personal connection? Is it possible to feel sad by order or law? Is it possible to laugh or mourn by whatever constitutional laws which nations formulate since such kinds of emotional actions and reactions are caused by incidents that come in the normal course of life that do have direct connection and relations with people and they are just automatic to come and they do not even require laws or rules to exercise or practice too.
Although there is no doubt that a good comes out of common grief is highly relevant for national unity and cause too, and such incidents are one way and means by which nations employ in order to create some kind of unified actions and thinking towards the common cause that they promote, but, if there are no genuine feelings and thinking towards such matter, they become artificial undertakings that do have no impact on the goals nations want to promote.
For instance, Cuba declared nine days of mourning following the death of its great leader, Fidel Castro. In such national days of mourn, alcohol sales were suspended, flags flew at half-staff and shows and concerts were cancelled. The India government has announced a seven-day state mourning in honour of former President APJ Abdul Kalam. Venezuela did hold seven days of national mourning following the death of President Hugo Chavez from cancer. These seven days of mourning have been echoed by three days of national mourning declared by regional allies including Cuba, Argentina and Ecuador
For the third time in eighteen months, president François Hollande has addressed the nation to declare a three days of national mourning. He did so following the terror attack last Thursday, when a man plowed through a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing more than 80 people. He did the same after the attacks in Paris last November, which was Europe’s worst terror attack in 10 years, where 130 were killed, and the Charlie Hebdo attacks that left 17 dead in January 2015.
The Ethiopian government declared such national days of mourns in four different occasions in two years time in which all of them are caused by human factors. The first one is 19th of April 2015 for ISIS slaughtered Ethiopians who were illegally migrating through Libya to Europe in search of better life. Ethiopia mourned for three days. Secondly, on the 15th of April 2016, gunmen from Murle tribe of South Sudan killed more than 200 people and kidnapped more than 100 women and children in Gambella. Ethiopia mourned for two days.
The third was October 2, 2016 – Stampede that was caused by panic reaction of mass following security officials’ attempt to crackdown peaceful protests at Irrecha festival killed several people in Bishoftu. Ethiopia mourned for three days. Ethiopia is mourning for three days following garbage land slide in Kolfe-Keraniyo Sub-city in an area usually called “Koshe” killed 113 people residing beneath the garbage landfill-hill on March 11, 2017 during the last week.
What does it mean by a nation declares national days of mourn for several times or more than four times in two years time? Does this show the compassionate aspect of the government or it shows its frustration and weakness? Does this show that the government and its people are suffering of natural catastrophes or other beyond human cause and reasons, which should make them to think differently and contemplate further on the way things and public affairs are handled or administered?
When any given nation declares such national days of mourn for disasters caused by natural factors and disasters that are caused by human factors, they are different ones; such mourning has its own impact on the nations’ undertaking and economic activities since the public is asked to be in sad condition which do have an impact on the productivity of the nation’s economy as well. In such mourning period, the individual, society and institutions are asked to be in sympathy that do have an impact on their psychological behavior and makeup of the nation as well.
Disaster that are caused by natural factors are beyond the control of the government and its peoples where as those disasters that are caused by human factors are caused by public mismanagement, and failures of seeing the consequences of what the normal conditions and ways of life do deliver. Earth quake and heavy storms are natural factors. Terrorism, whatever stampede and other human dangers caused are human factors which should not happen as nations resolve such issues in whatever mechanism ahead of time.
Such mourning and style of mourning is originated from religious doctrines and way of life in which religion is one of the basics that contributed to national days of mourn, as it is obvious that people adopt many kinds of life style from religious doctrines which they belong and it is written in the book such as, it is written in the Bible that … And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house … and are often brought into these countries under the name of mummies. … lamentation : and he made a mourning for his father seven days…. mourning continued forty days ..
Nations declare state of days of mourn in order to remember all victims, which is very human. And this is one way of expressing peoples love and respect towards other people who happen to face dangers and losses in their given life. However such style of life should be supported by true and genuine thinking and feelings. In fact, people should be supported before hand, and it is appropriate to help them beforehand than declare national days of mourn and help them afterwards as they face dangers and losses. If it is possible to help them after they become victims of some kind of danger, why not same amount of help they should be given before hand?