YANGON, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar President U Win Myint attended a state ceremony here on Friday to mark the country's 72nd Martyrs' Day, paying tribute to fallen national heroes including General Aung San and eight others who sacrificed their lives in 1947 for regaining the country's independence.
It was the first time for a top leader or head of state of Myanmar to attend such a commemorative event in several decades.
With Myanmar's national flag flown half-mast, the state ceremony was attended by Vice President U Myint Swe, Speaker of the House of Representatives (Lower House) U T Khun Myat, Speaker of the House of Nationalities U Mann Win Khaing Than, Chief Justice U Tun Tun Oo and Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services Sen-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, who gave a salute in front of the tombs of the martyrs at the Martyrs' Mausoleum.
State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, who is the daughter of General Aung San, laid wreaths at the tombs as the status of a bereaved family member among others.
Government ministers and Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein, as well as representatives from political parties and different walks of life, joined the event.
A siren was sounded by Myanmar Radio and Television to mark the time of the assassination of the martyrs.
Following the official ceremony, the Martyrs' Mausoleum was open to the public for paying tribute and General Aung San Museum was also open to a commemorative visit.
General Aung San, the founder of Myanmar's armed forces, along with eight others including his bodyguard and seven councilor members, were all assassinated at Yangon's then Prime Ministers' Office (then known as Secretariat Building) on July 19, 1947, before Myanmar regained independence on Jan. 4, 1948.
The historical secretariat building, located at downtown Yangon, was also open to the public for a commemorative visit.