Military veterans pay homage
Military veterans from across the Tricity and adjoining villages gathered in large numbers at the Major Shankla War Memorial at Panchkula to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Divas and pay homage to the martyrs.
Brig Kiran Krishan, Convener of Indian Ex- Servicemen Movement (IESM), Panchkula and North Haryana, said, “People should look after their soldiers as it is only the young soldiers who come forward to sacrifice their lives to save the country.” Lt Gen Amar Nath Aul, who commanded 56 brigades during the Kargil War, and was responsible for capturing Tololing, recounted his experiences.
The entire function was conducted by Lt Col S S Kalia. Besides veterans, Rattan Lal Kataria, MP Ambala, D K Bansal, MLA Panchkula, Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia, Mayor Panchkula, S S Phulia, Deputy Commissioner Panchkula, and Brig S C Rangi, Secretary, Rajya Sainik Board Haryana, and other citizens were also present.
People from all walks of life take time out for martyrs’ sake
From a 10-year-old girl to an 86-year-old veteran and from a theatre artiste to a city-based bikers’ group, all gathered at the Chandigarh War Memorial in Sector 3 to pay homage to the martyrs.
Theatre artiste Rajeev Mehta said, “This is a day when all come to this place to give a token of respect to the martyrs who lost their lives just to save us. At least, we all gather here to remember those soldiers.”
A group of fifteen people of Chandigarh bikers’ club, ‘Road Survivors’ also lighted candles on the occasion. The president of the club, Jojo Khurana, said, “We keep up with the tradition to meet here every year. It is a wonderful initiative of The Indian Express, otherwise nobody would bother to come and light a candle on this day. D P Sharma, a seccond world war veteran, said, “I feel that defence training should be compulsory for every student in the city. These soldiers have done a lot for us without expecting anything in return. The new generation does not know about the importance of the day as people are forgetting their legends.”
Another retired army officer, Lt Col Jagwant Singh Baht, who has received a Sena medal, said, “The Indian Express organises this event very well. Every year, we attend this and residents and students from across the Tricity come here to show their respect.”
A city-based theatre artiste, Parveen Jaggi, said, “We have worked on a lot of plays based on wars and Kargil. One among them was ‘Court Marshall’. Theatre artistes should work on more such social issues which will help to spread awareness among people.”
Students too remember war heroes
Hundreds of school children visited the Chandigarh War Memorial on Saturday to pay homage to the martyrs who had made supreme sacrifices for the country in the wars since India’s independence.
In the morning, over 500 students from government schools gathered at the memorial. Their visit was organised by the Education department of the Chandigarh Administration. The teachers accompanying the students explained the significance of the memorial. They pointed out the names of over 10,500 martyrs, who had sacrificed their lives for the nation. The names were inscribed in the memorial.
The government schools which organised a visit of their students to the memorial included Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Sector 8, GMSSS-16, GMSSS-15, GMSSS-22, 23, 10, 23, 11 and Government High School, Kaimbwala.
In the evening, students from several private schools namely DAV School, Sector 15, St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, Guru Nanak Public School and New Public School, participated in the candle light ceremony to pay homage to the martyrs.
Sundarmani, Teacher cum Warden from New Public School, Sector 18, said, “The days like this should be celebrated with more and more people participating and the younger generation being motivated.”
Rekha Vohra, the Co-ordinator from Guru Nanak Public School and a daughter of a serviceman who came along with 62 hostel students from the school, said, “The students who have come here get highly motivated from events like this. It induces patriotic feelings in them.
These martyrs sacrificed their lives for us. Therefore, the younger generation should be aware of it and respect the fact. We have already given them a talk regarding the significance of this day.”
Jatinder K Bedi, Senior Coordinator, St Stephens School, Togan, who came with 57 students and eight faculty members on their first visit to the memorial, said, “Behind every name, there is a person on these walls. This is a good initiative to mark the day and remember the fallen heroes and especially to create a sense of patriotism among the younger generation.”
One of the teachers from DAV School, Sector 15, Shashi, who has an army background, said, “This day is very important for me. My students were equally eager to come and light candles.”
Nazuk, a class VII student said, “Through lighting a candle, we are contributing something because it is all because of them that we are here and living a peaceful life.”
AAP members also join in
AAP Volunteers from Chandigarh paid tributes to martyrs of Kargil war on Kargil Vijay Diwas by lighting candles and paying floral tributes at the War Memorial.“We salute the Indian soldiers who fought for the country and gave up their lives. On this day, we also want to thank their brave families.
“They have made India proud,” said the party.
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