From five-year-old boys to 90-year-old war veterans,people from all walks of life came to pay homage to brave soldiers who sacrificed their life fighting for the country. Students from various school,family and friends of the martyrs and people from the tricity gathered at Chandigarh War Memorial in Bougainvillea Garden,Sector 3,on Friday to commemorate the Kargil Vijay Diwas.
Students of Yadavindra Public School,Mohali,DAV Model School,Sector 15,and DAV Public School,Sector 8,along with others,lit a candle to commemorate the Kargil Vijay Diwas.
Lalita Prakash,whose brother Captain Mahaveer Prasad died in the 1962 war came to pay her obeisance to her brother and other martyrs. He was the first casualty in the 1962 war. He was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra,the second highest military decoration in India. He was part of the first Sikh regiment and was 26 when he died, said Lalita Prakash.
Talking about the memorial and the whole idea of paying tribute to all the soldiers who laid down their lives for the country since Independence,she said,It is a very beautiful idea. People tend to forget the sacrifice of our soldiers in general but places like this keep their memory alive in our hearts.
The event saw the participation of people from all walks of life. Ajay,who after spending almost two decades in London has come back to India,said that public places like this need to be created where the coming generation can come and know what it took to make their present peaceful. Talking to Newsline,he said,Every big city should have places like this celebrating the real heroes of the nation. Schools cannot teach everything,parents and society need to play an important role. What is the use of knowing about the 1857 war when you do not know about the people who fought while we lived? People like Captain Vikram Batra should be known to our children.
Children as young as five were part of the gathering. Sohraab,a five-year-old boy,who came with his mother to light a candle was busy reading the name of the martyrs. When asked what he knows about the place he said,This place has the name of people who were great soldiers and who fought for the country.
Many students who did not know about the memorial and the Kargil war said that it was a great learning experience to know about soldiers and their act of valour. Snehdeep,a student of YPS academy,said,I got to know how many soldiers sacrificed their lives for us. My grandfather,who fought in the 1971 war,often tells me and my brother to join the Army. Today I realise what it means to be an armyman.
My grandfather died in the 1971 war and my uncle Niak Ashok Singh lost his life in the Red Fort attack in 2000. it gives me immense pleasure to know that their sacrifice is remembered by people, said Nishant,student of YPS Academy.
Ramesh Sharma,a physical education teacher from DAV Model School,Sector 15,said,I have visited this place a number of times. I think children need to inculcate the feeling of patriotism and national integration and know the martyrs of the country. Places like this help to serve this purpose. There should more events like this where we can collectively remember our soldiers.
Ashok Kumar,a teacher who accompanied his students,said that it is a great opportunity for students. Everything cannot be taught through books. Visiting places like this is important for learning some great lessons of life.
Harjinder Singh Talwar,a milkman,added,Such days are very important and need to be celebrated.