Professor Ova Emilia, MD, the Rector of Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), stated that commemorating Heroes’ Day is a moment to build the spirit of intellectuality by promoting education to enlighten the nation, intensifying research to create innovation and fresh thinking and promoting community service to enhance nationalism and humanity.
The Rector of UGM made this statement during the Heroes’ Day commemoration ceremony held at the UGM Central Building courtyard on Friday (November 10).
Professor Emilia mentioned that the commemoration ceremony, in addition to remembering and honoring the services and struggles of the heroes in defending independence, also serves as a shared reflection space to reappreciate the meaning of heroism in today’s era to guide us toward a better future.
According to her, nowadays, the term hero is no longer interpreted as a figure who fought to seize Indonesia’s independence by lifting weapons and being at the forefront against colonization.
“The meaning and designation of a hero are not only interpreted as fighting for physical independence but also striving for social, intellectual, and economic freedom in each of its respective challenges,” she said.
The rector assessed that the title of the hero without merit is given to teachers, the hero of humanity for those who deal with social and humanitarian aspects, and the hero of the country’s foreign exchange for Indonesian workers working abroad. There is even a title of family hero, among others.
“This expression does not mean reducing the meaning of a hero itself but is a form of expanding new interpretations of the term hero that are not limited. The spirit of appreciating the values of exemplary and virtue of a hero exists in every mention,” she explained.
On this Heroes’ Day, she said, it is a concrete step for us to instill the values of heroism with the spirit of nation-building and contributions to social development, a joint effort to fill the nation’s independence according to each person’s competence and profession.
Professor Emilia stated that UGM continues to encourage impactful research, research as the basis for innovation, synergizing study centers, and internationally reputable research, with community service programs focused on sustainable community empowerment.
The Heroes’ Day theme, “Spirit of Heroes for the Future of the Nation in Combating Poverty and Ignorance,” she said, is in line with UGM’s mission to promote educational, research, and community service programs from an inclusive and applicable interdisciplinary perspective.
Since its establishment, UGM has been promoting a dignified, tolerant, diverse, and inclusive education program, education for all, to create excellent human resources for the future.
Through scholarship enhancement programs, the admission of affirmative action students, and the Bidikmisi program (KIP-K), UGM has taken concrete steps to fulfill its commitment to fight against poverty and ignorance.
Author: Gusti Grehenson