May 24, 1991, a sacred day in the annals of Eritrean history, symbolizes the determination that no one or nothing can stop this young nation from rising again-- no matter how daunting the challenges are. It is also a sacred day in the history of all those who rise, in the face of overwhelming odds, to determine their own destiny and defend their basic rights. This is a celebration of the triumph of the human spirit in the quest for freedom against all odds. This day embodies what the essence of Eritrea represents: the spirit of unflinching determination, unwavering dedication and, when necessary, unyielding and principled defiance. However, May 24 is also a day of renewal, a day of recommitment to ensure the realization of the promise enshrined in the spark that launched the armed struggle on September 1, 1961, and the solemn pledge given to those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that the Eritrean people can determine their own destiny and enjoy what May 24 represents.