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Sunday, February 19, 2012

IAF Chief Leads Tributes at the Annual Wreath Laying at Shaheed Smarak, Noida

The morning of 18 Feb 2012 saw ex-servicemen, civil and military dignitaries and school children gather at the Shaheed Smarak, located at Noida to pay tributes to martyred soldiers at an Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony.
The tributes were led by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, along with Major General A K Parnaik and Rear Admiral Brijesh Jhang. Also present was Lieutenant General (Retd) Sir Alistair Irwin, President, Royal British Legion Scotland and also Vice-Chairman, Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Addressing the gathering later, Air Chief said, “ We feel privileged to be a part of this solemn ceremony, to pay homage and to honour our brave martyrs. I salute all the bravehearts for their exemplary patriotism which they have immortalized by making the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. To my mind, it would be wrong to mourn the sacrifices of these gallant men. Rather, we should thank God that such men indeed lived. Nothing can match their sacrifices to ensure that our Nation continues to prosper in a secure environment.

Our hopes and prayers especially go out for the family members and friends who had the honour and privilege to share a part of their lives with these brave fellow men. I am sure their lives have been enriched by their ever present memories and brave deeds.
As I was paying my respects to these brave heroes during the memorial ceremony I was reminded of the famous words of Robert Laurence’s poem ‘For the Fallen’

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them

Today we remember and honour our fallen comrades for their indomitable will and deep conviction in the ideals that India stands for and making the supreme sacrifice in safeguarding them. Their examples inspires all of us who are in uniform today, strengthens our Nation’s moral fibre and proves that given the committed resolve of our men and women in uniform, India can face any challenges”  

The Shaheed Smarak located at Noida, was raised on 13 April 2002, in the sacred memory of Armed Forces Personnel who made supreme sacrifice in defence of the motherland.

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