Uhuru’s new gardens are an altar for historic forgiveness, according to Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday paid tribute to Kenya’s remarkable journey to independence when he ruled the country by marking the 57th annual Jamhuri Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens Memorial Park.
The renovated gardens have opened for celebrations for the first time since they closed for renovation.
In keeping with his history, President Kenyatta used the location – of his last Jamhuri Day speech – to mark important milestones before and after independence.
The historic memorial park will be fully open to the public in April next year.
The Head of State reminded Kenyans of the importance of the park which, according to him, would be a place of history, memory and healing.
Uhuru: The joy of December 12 is that we are celebrating three milestones. In 1963 Kenya gained independence and we also hoisted our national flag and sang the national anthem for the first time here at Uhuru Garden. And on December 12, 1964, Kenya became a republic # JamhuriDay2021 ^ CM pic.twitter.com/c4jjjK5m3h
– News from KBC Channel1 (@ KBCChannel1) 12 December 2021
“In addition to being a place of memory and healing, this place will be an arena where the past, the present and the future will converge. When Kenyans cross Heroes Boulevard, their spirits will be uplifted by the sacrifices made by our liberators, ”he said.
Besides the good memories, the grounds – unknown to many, previously housed a detention camp known as the Langata concentration camp, during the liberation war where up to 10,000 gallant and most feared liberators were confined.
“And most of them did not survive the wrath of the colonizer. The Langata camp has been described in the history books as resembling the Nazi camps in Germany, both in its psychological warfare and its methods of brutality, ”the president revealed.
The president said that once the very first historical museum is completed, it will provide invaluable lessons to all generations.
“As we mark this historic day, some will tell you that history is meaningless, unnecessary, unnecessary, and irrelevant to the concerns of the present. I do not agree. History provides invaluable lessons to learn and gives context to the present. By looking back, we can better look ahead. Learning from the past means that we can build on its good, avoid its mistakes and, most importantly, it is a constant reminder of the ugly. So that even, as we forgive, we should never forget ”
The Independence Memorial, built in 1973, is a twenty-four meter tall column supporting a pair of clasped hands and a dove of peace that has been under construction for over a year now.
The project which is being undertaken by the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) in collaboration with other state agencies will have a state-of-the-art Mashujaa Museum which will serve as an archive of Kenya’s history since 1800.
Main features of the state-of-the-art museum
The museum will house the Legends Room, in honor of the freedom fighters.
“Once finished, this historic site will revive the memories of our armed struggle, but also the good, the bad and the ugly of our history. It will revive our legendary ancestors including Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Mekatilili wa Menza, Koitalel arap Samoei, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Nabongo Mumia among others ”, he declared.
Another key feature will be the Marty’s tunnel in remembrance of all Kenyans who lost their lives from WWI through WWII to the victims of the 2008 post-election violence.
In the String Gallery from the museum, a named rope will be dedicated to each of the one thousand and ninety (1090) heroic souls who were hanged in colonial times.
the Moments of Darkness Gallery, will display the histories of the lowest times in the country while the Hall of innovation will celebrate the 17 brilliant and revolutionary ideas produced by Kenyans.
“This room will talk about the future to come and how our past has guided it. The room just behind me, marked with an upward pointing spear, characterizes our latest exploits, our moments of great hope and national pride, and our daring path to the future. This place will be a book of history and illumination of the future, woven with hope, written in images, sculptures and historical objects, ”he explained.
In conclusion, President Kenyatta, as he called for unity and respect despite divergent views, said the free park would be an altar for historic forgiveness.
He said this while saluting former Prime Minister Raila Odinga for accepting the handshake that paved the way for peace in a country that has been haunted by electoral violence.
“As Kenyans walk the galleries of heroes and legends, they must forgive those who have offended us. However, they must also heed the call of our Founding Father when he said: “We will forgive them; but we will NEVER forget “We must forgive our transgressors,” he said.