PM Modi Unveils The Iconic 'National War Memorial'  In Honor Of Brave Martyrs

| February 25 , 2019 , 19:09 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National War Memorial, spread over 40 acres in the India Gate complex, by lighting the flame positioned at the bottom of the stone-made obelisk.

PM Modi also attended a rally of ex-servicemen at the National Stadium before unveiling the memorial.

A senior defence official said the project has been executed at a cost of Rs. 176 crore and its design were selected through global competition.

"The layout of the memorial located behind the India Gate canopy and across the National Stadium consists of four concentric circles, radially outwards, namely, the ‘Amar Chakra’ or Circle of Immortality, ‘Veerta Chakra or Circle of Bravery, ‘Tyag Chakra’ or Circle of Sacrifice and ‘Rakshak Chakra’ or Circle of Protection," the senior official added.

The names of 25,942 fallen heroes, along with their rank and regiment, are inscribed in the 16 walls of the memorial.

A senior army officer said, "The National War Memorial will not replace the Amar Jawan Jyoti which was built in 1972 underneath the India Gate arch to commemorate soldiers killed in the Indo-Pak War of 1971. The memorial will remain intact."

Apart from the soldiers who were martyred in the wars in 1947, 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999, the names of the soldiers who died while on Indian Peace Keeping Force Operations in Srilanka is also inscribed on the memorial.

The central obelisk is topped with an Ashokan Capital and the base bears the famous couplet ''Shaheed ki mazron par...'' by poet Jagdamba Prasad Mishra ''Hitaishi''.

Six bronze murals, made by noted sculptor Ram Sutar, depicting famous battles fought by the Army, Air Force and Navy have been put up in a gallery in the Veerta Chakra zone, he added.

Likewise, 16 walls in concentric fashion have been constructed in the ''Tyag Chakra'' area for paying homage to the over 25,000 battle casualties.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony, PM Narendra Modi said, "Due to the sacrifice of many soldiers, we are among the strongest army in the world. Whether the problems have come due to enemies or nature, the soldiers have always been at the forefront to protect the country and answered as well."

"Would like to pay respect to every soldier who martyred in Pulwama. New India is now moving forward with new virtues, and it is because of your dedication," he added.

Praising the brave soldiers of the nation, PM said, "Modi is not important, India is above all. Not my name but it should be the stories of valour of the soldiers that should be remembered forever."

"Safety of the country, development of the country is so important than all obstacles on my way. Live for the country, die for the country, Live for the 'tiranga', die for the 'tiranga'," he added.

The Prime Minister further said, "The wait for the national war memorial is over and it is being dedicated to the nation at the right time.35000 crore distributed through OROP. Pension budget is now over Rs. 1 lakh crore. Salaries of soldiers are up by 55%. We have made sure that you don't have to run errands for getting pensions... the system will be made available online."

"1,46,000 bulletproofs were demanded by the forces. Soldiers were facing enemies without these jackets. Between 2009 to 2014, these demands were never met. In the last five years, we have purchased more than 2,30,000 bulletproof jackets," he added.

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Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, also addressed the inauguration ceremony, she said, "When you go home, tell them of us... and say, for your tomorrow, we gave today... The last words of our heroes always reverberate in our hearts...This war memorial will keep reminding us, in years to come, of the valour of the soldiers and their dedicated service."

"This war memorial will help us remember our soldiers, their bravery, their hard work today, our govt has fulfilled that commitment. OROP, National War Memorial, other initiatives pending for years have been delivered under the able guidance of  PM Modi," she added.

She further said, "To honour and to pay tribute to the soldiers who lost lives during World War 1 and Afghanistan the memorial at India Gate was created. Post independence, more than 2500 soldiers made the supreme sacrifice in the national interest."

"Today's war memorial structure is a series of 4 concentric circles. The four chakras are named: Amar chakra Vir Chakra Tyag Chakra and Raksha Chakra. During Indo-Pak wars of 1947, 1965 and 1999, war with China, counterinsurgency operation, our soldiers laid their lives for the nation," she added.

Appreciating the entire team of the project she said, "The memorial is so aptly designed that it merges with the background so to give an impression that it always existed here. I would like to congratulate the entire team of the project. It is a pilgrimage place to pay our homage to our soldiers."