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Botswana Defence Force (BDF)
BDF parades at the 47th independence Day celebrations
14/10/13
BDF parades at the 47th independence Day celebrations

BDF parades at the 47th independence Day celebrations

Batswana across the length and breadth of the country as well as across the World were in a celebratory mood as Botswana marked its 47th anniversary of independence. The day which is an annual fixture in the country's calendar dates back to the 30th of September 1966 when Botswana first became independent from the British Colony.

As is the norm, this year's Independence Day commemorations were also symbolic of the country's transition of power from the colonial rule to self rule. While many celebrations were observed throughout the country, in Gaborone where the National Stadium which has just opened doors to the public, was awash with activities organized by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to mark this day.

During the evening, people were entertained to the brim with traditional song and dance as well as a band display by the members of Botswana Prisons and Police Services. However what transpired the most that night was when the Botswana Defence Force staged the Retreat Parade that signaled the end of the official Protectorate by the British when it handed power to Botswana.

The Retreat Parade had the ‘Old Guard’ signifying the Protectorate soldiers which handed power to the ‘New Guard’ signifying Botswana soldiers at that ceremony. Botswana flag was then hoisted. Ending the proceeding was fire-works display that illuminated the sky with different colours.

The celebrations continued on the 30th September under the theme 'Botswana First', the theme which translate that our country should always come first in whatever we do as individual citizens. The President, Vice President and other senior government officials including the Commander of the BDF, Lt Gen Galebotswe were amongst the multitudes who graced the spectacular event. The Botswana Defence Force had a full Ceremonial Parade honouring the day of Independence; with four companies in the main parade and displayed varied drills and formations at the stadium. Furthermore, Major Bontsi Onkabetse from BDF had a momentous opportunity to hoist a Botswana flag which marked the countdown to Vision 2016, a year where Botswana will be celebrating 5o years of independence.

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