President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi commemorated the 42nd anniversary of the 6th of October, 1973, War with Israel on Sunday, by visiting the Unknown Soldier monument in memory of soldiers who lost their lives in the war.
The tradition, which is followed by every president since the war, entails laying flowers at the Unknown Soldier monument, as well as at the tombs of former presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat. Heads of the armed forces accompanied the president.
6 October is one of Egypt’s most important dates. Besides being a national holiday, it is perceived as one of the essential pillars of Egyptian nationalism.
The country celebrates its victory over Israel and the crossing of the Suez Canal, which was taken by force in 5 June, 1967.
The national holiday usually includes military parades, speeches by state officials, and aerial military shows by the Egyptian Air Force.
Pro-government forces use the celebration to voice support of the Egyptian government and the army. However, a number of opposition forces argue that the war has always been used by the armed forces for further political authority and gain.
Two years ago, 53 people were killed in sporadic clashes that broke out in Cairo and a number of other governorates during the 40th anniversary of the 6th of October War. Rival demonstrations were scheduled on the anniversary by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, who had called for marches to Tahrir Square where supporters of the army and then Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi had gathered to commemorate the war.