Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today greeted Bangladeshis on the eve of the International Mother Language Day, the Ekushey February, paying her rich tributes to the 1952 language martyrs and veterans.

“On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I offer warm wishes to all those celebrating International Mother Language Day in Bangladesh, where the day originated, and around the world on February 21,” Clinton said in a statement.

She called it an occasion to “honor the Bangladeshis who stood up for the right to speak and teach their own language”.

In the United States, she said many Bangladeshi-Americans will gather with families and friends to celebrate their vibrant linguistic and cultural heritage.

She also said “it is a time when we remember the power of language-to tell us where we came from, to share our story with others, to persuade, to educate, and to preserve our cultures.”

“Let us take this opportunity to reaffirm our respect for the great diversity of languages and cultures we see around the world and to working together to promote mutual understanding and cooperation,” Clinton added.

BBN/SS/SSR/AD-19February10-7:14 pm (BST)