Updated: July 26, 2021 9:36:22 pm
The 22nd Kargil Vijay Diwas was commemorated at the National War Memorial in Pune on Monday with a wreath laying ceremony in the presence of a limited number of military officials and personnel and Kargil war veterans, while ensuring all Covid-19 precautions.
On the occasion, Southern Army Commander Lt Gen JS Nain reached out to the war veterans and families to extend gratitude on behalf of the Southern Command.
To honour the martyrs, a wreath on behalf of all ranks of the Southern Command was laid at the War Memorial by Lieutenant General JS Nain, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Command. Maj Gen Hukkur AK (Retd), one of the senior-most veterans from Pune, also laid a wreath and paid homage to Kargil War heroes.
A weeklong celebration and activities were organised at all military stations across areas under the Southern Command wherein gallantry award winners, veterans and Veer Naaris were felicitated.
In contrast to the annual ceremony, which is attended by a large number of serving and retired military brass, civilian dignitaries and school children, this year’s ceremony was conducted amid Covid-19 precautions. Similar restrictions were in place for last year’s commemorations, too.
Kargil Vijay Diwas is observed on July 26 every year as a tribute to gallantry and valour of the military personnel who fought the battle in the most inhospitable terrain in the world in the area of Kargil-Drass Sector of Ladakh. The Kargil War, also referred to as Operation Vijay, was fought at an altitude of approximately 16,000 feet, wherein 1,042 Pakistani soldiers were killed and 527 Indian soldiers were martyred.
In his message to war veterans and their families, Lt Gen Nain said, “On the occasion of 22nd anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, I express my gratitude to all the gallant officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks of the Indian Army who displayed exemplary courage, utmost professionalism, valour and sacrifice during the Kargil War. I also pay my homage to all fallen bravehearts who made the supreme sacrifice while fighting and ensuring the territorial integrity of our great nation. They are all role models for the current and future generations ahead. The nation will remain forever indebted to them, Veer Naaris and their children for their sacrifice. We express our gratitude to them on this solemn occasion. I urge the serving to re-dedicate ourselves to the ideals of our great Army on this pious occasion. May victory always be yours! Best Wishes.”
A press statement issued by Southern Command quoted the Army Commander as saying, “Kargil Veterans are a source of inspiration to all of us in the Armed Forces and the Nation. Their supreme sacrifice and service can never be forgotten.”
The press releases added, “Lt Gen Nain felicitated the veterans present at the National War Memorial. During his interaction he gave assurance to all the veterans that the Indian Army is moving very strongly in the right directions as set by them and is absolutely committed and ready for any eventuality.”