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Commemorating the Legacy: Reflecting on the Two Italian-Ethiopian Wars

By Berhane Tadese, New York City

February 25, 2024

In a stirring celebration of resilience, courage, and sacrifice, the Ethiopian community in New York City gathered at Columbia University on February 24, 2024, to commemorate the profound significance of the first and second Italian-Ethiopian wars.

The first Italian-Ethiopian war, marking 128 years since the triumph of Ethiopian patriots over the Italian army, stands as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Emperor Menelik II, Empress Taytu, and the countless patriots whose leadership and unwavering resolve paved the way for victory.

Both conflicts hold a pivotal place in history, with the first war symbolizing the indomitable spirit of our forefathers who bravely defended our homeland. Simultaneously, Remembrance Day for the second Italian-Ethiopian war, particularly the tragic events of Yekatit 12 on February 19, 1937, serves as a solemn reminder of the atrocities inflicted upon our people by the Italian army.

At the heart of the event were captivating presentations by esteemed guest speakers, who eloquently elucidated both conflicts’ historical significance and enduring legacy. Their insightful discourse deepened our understanding of the profound impact of these wars on Ethiopia’s national consciousness and identity.

Moreover, the occasion allowed us to extend gratitude towards our forefathers, acknowledging their pivotal role in fostering reconciliation and friendship, which proved key in defeating the enemy. By honoring the heroes of the war, we exemplify the values of mutual respect and understanding, transcending the scars of the past.

Central to the event’s mission was promoting Ethiopian heritage and culture, spearheaded by the Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association (ECMAA) in partnership with the Columbia University of Ethiopian-Eriteria student group. Through poignant poetry readings, emotional video clips, and recognition awards, the program encapsulated the rich tapestry of Ethiopia’s history and the enduring spirit of its people.

As we reflect on the lessons imparted by our courageous ancestors, we are reminded of the importance of unity, resilience, and unwavering determination in the face of adversity. Their legacy serves as a guiding light for future generations, inspiring us to cherish and defend our country’s sovereignty with unwavering dedication.

In commemorating the first and second Italian-Ethiopian wars, we reaffirm our commitment to preserving the memory of our heroes and upholding the values for which they fought. May their courage continue to inspire us as we strive towards a future of peace, prosperity, and mutual respect for all nations.


2 thoughts on “Commemorating the Legacy: Reflecting on the Two Italian-Ethiopian Wars”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this article that honored our patriots who on both occasions heroically stood up against the invaders. The spirit of their selfless sacrifice lives in our todays Fanos who are fighting for justice and freedom.

  2. Fitawrari Gebeyehu Kindie Yegidimwork not Gebeyehu Gurmu. Stop the Mogassa of dead people! Ethiopian Oromos have no scarcity of patriotic ancestors: There is no need to falsify history and erase someone’s ancestry.

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