SHILLONG, April 14: If being alive is the greatest gift to mankind what would it be to sacrifice one’s own life for others? It is indeed something that the world is witness to and will continue to witness through the lives of the soldiers.
However, in the maze of sacrifice, valour, patriotism and laurels, these war heroes are slowly forgotten with the passage of time and the once glorious days are left in their memories and tales.
Reminiscing the valour and sacrifice these veterans made and trying to get it across to the younger generations to learn and be motivated, a gathering to felicitate these 40 odd veterans was organised by the Hamro Swabhiman Trust Shillong (HSTS) on Sunday.
As they sat on the stage and elsewhere meeting and greeting whom they know, the most prominent was the smiles on their wrinkled faces which clearly reflected the satisfaction derived from years of toil and the recognition for it.
“This is just a small gesture of appreciation to huge sacrifices they have made for us and for the country,” said Ganesh Gurung, president of the HSTS.
Stating that they have served in various capacities within the Indian armed forces, Gurung said that given the hardship and sacrifice they have made it becomes much more pertinent to felicitate them and let them know that they are held in reverence.
‘We have nothing to give them but respect,” he said.
Meanwhile, an elated retired Colonel and director of the Zilla Sainik Board, Shillong, Gautam Kumar Rai said, “We are highly moved by this initiative and all this kind of activity also encourages us and will also encourage the younger generations to join the army.”
Encouraging the youth of the state to come forward and join the army in various ranks, Rai said, “Through such programmes, normal serving soldiers will also be motivated to perform their duties to the best of their abilities.”
As the event progressed, the entire crowd gathered at the venue bowed their heads to the war veterans and chanted patriotic slogans.