PM Modi on Monday dedicated a new “National War Memorial”, located in the India Gate complex in the national capital, to the country. Later on, he lit the flame at the bottom of the stone memorial to pay rich tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives while defending the nation in the line of duty.
“Our armed forces are among the strongest in the world. They have always risen to every challenge in front of the nation and responded with their full strength,” PM Modi added.
The National War Memorial complex, spread across 40 acres, includes- central obelisk, eternal flame and six bronze murals portraying some of the popular battles fought by the Army, the Air Force and the Navy.
Interestingly, the design of the National War Memorial has a unique layout consisting of four concentric circles, namely, the ‘Amar Chakra’ or Circle of Immortality, the ‘Veerta Chakra’ or Circle of Bravery, the ‘Tyag Chakra’ or Circle of Sacrifice, and the ‘Rakshak Chakra’ or Circle of Protection.
In a proud moment, the statues of 21 awardees of Param Veer Chakra have been installed in the National War Memorial. The list includes recipients of the country’s highest gallantry award-Subedar Major (Honorary Captain) Bana Singh (Retired), Subedar Major Yogendra Singh Yadav and Subedar Sanjay Kumar.
“This war memorial will keep reminding us, in years to come, of the valour of the soldiers and their dedicated service,” Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
In “Mann ki Baat” programme on Sunday, PM Modi spoke about the memorial. He said: not having such a memorial always “pained and surprised him”.
“I do believe that for our countrymen, a visit to the National War Memorial will be akin to a pilgrimage to a holy place. The national soldiers” memorial is a symbol of the nation’s gratitude to those men who made the supreme sacrifice after we gained Independence,” he said.
The names of 25,942 fallen brave heroes with rank and regiment are also inscribed in the 16 walls of the memorial. With the exception of soldiers who lost their lives in the wars in 1947, 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999 respectively, the names of the soldiers who passed away while on Indian Peace Keeping Force Operations in Srilanka is also carved on the memorial.
(With inputs from PTI)