Meghalaya on Monday recalled the contributions made by patriots who sacrificed their lives for freedom even as people from all walks of life celebrated 70th Independence day in a befitting manner.

"We remember and recollect with a strong sense of pride, the selfless sacrifice made by the patriots of the state – U Tirot Sing, U Kiang Nangbah and Pa Togan Sangma and many others, in their struggle against colonial rule," Governor V Shanmuganathan said in a message to the people.

"This is also a solemn occasion when we remember and recollect with gratitude the contributions of all the great patriots of India…who provided leadership to liberate the country from foreign rule," he said.

Asking all citizens to imbibe their spirit, Shanmuganathan called for their re-dedication to the service of the state and the nation.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said, "We are all stakeholders in the process of progress and development."

He asked all to "share the responsibility to work together in emancipating our state and nation" from the unlawful use of force, violence, poverty, injustice and corruption.

Independence Day was celebrated across the state with all schools having been directed to hoist the tricolour the day in a befitting manner.

The celebration began early in the state capital with marathons and a gruelling 45-km-long ‘cyclothon’ taking place simultaneously here.

A big crowd also attended the official programme of the government at Polo grounds where Chief Minister Mukul Sangma unfurled the national flag and addressed the audience.

Government-run scenic parks and beautiful Ward’s Lake here remained open for free for visitors and there were also free cinema shows for the public.