The day is a memorial to the deaths of thousands of civilians who died in the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Independence Day is commonly associated with parades, political speeches, fairs, concerts, and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, and traditions of Bangladesh. TV and radio stations broadcast special programs and patriotic songs in honor of Independence Day. Generally, a thirty-one gun salute is conducted in the morning. The main streets are decorated with national flags. Different political parties and socioeconomic organizations undertake programs to mark the day in a befitting manner, including the paying of respects at Jatiyo Smriti Soudho, the national memorial at Savar near Dhaka.
On 26 March 1971 the independence of Bangladesh was declared and the Liberation War began. The people of then-East Pakistan took part in this war to liberate Bangladesh from the oppression of military leaders of Pakistan. Independence for Bangladesh was gained through a nine-month civil war against the Pakistani Army, which resulted in the loss of about 3 million lives. The Mukti Bahini (Bengali "freedom fighters"), with military support from India, defeated the Pakistani Army on 16 December in the same year, which is celebrated as Victory Day.