Emotions rule as Kargil braves are remembered

via PTI | Drass/Kargil - Daily Pioneer published on July 25, 2009

Tears rolled down the faces of family members of the fallen soldiers of Kargil war at the sight of memorials unveiled on Saturday for their loved ones who helped trounce the Pakistani Army 10 years ago while colleagues and superiors paid emotional tributes to the heroes.

“Looking at the faces of the brave soldiers, kin of martyrs and awardees, I wonder what these heroes are made of?… They are examples of patriotism,” former Army chief VP Malik, who commanded the force during the Kargil conflict, said while dedicating a war memorial gallery in Drass named after Paramvir Chakra awardee Capt Manoj Panday.

Captain Manoj Pandey was involved in recapturing Khalobar ridgeline, one of the most dominant positions captured by the Pakistani troops in Kargil sector. He died on July 3, 1999 in this sector.

Kargil, a ghost town during the war, was on Saturday abuzz with stories of valour and courage of Indian soldiers who took part in ‘Operation Vijay’ as their families descended here to take part in the two-day celebrations to mark the victory.

The two-day “Operation Vijay” celebrations from Saturday will mark the victory of Indian forces over their Pakistani Army regulars ten years ago. During the celebrations, all re-captured heights would be lit up. Photo exhibition, beating retreat and felicitation of war awardees will be the other highlights of the programme to be held in Drass and Kargil areas of the Ladakh region.

“It is memorable event. I would say it is an honour for me to be part of this event here,” Malik said as he inaugurated the Vijay Dashmi memorial in Drass, which has been thronged by 200 families of martyrs and 86 chakra awardees.

“During the celebrations, 16 events will take place in Drass and Kargil areas,” a senior Army officer said. Though Defence Minister AK Antony is not scheduled to take part in the events, Army chief Deepak Kapoor will be in Kargil on Sunday.

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