War memorial Kargil the gathering was submerged in seas of yester years and perhaps listening to the echoes of war cries of fallen warriors who gave up their lives on the monstrous heights occupied by sly enemy looking to do something that could not have been possible!
When the going gets tough The tough get going, tough, tough, huh, huh, huh, when the going gets tough, the tough get ready, yeah, tough, tough… I got something to tell you, I got something to say, I’m gonna put this dream in motion. Never let nothing stand in my way, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Well I’m gonna get myself across the river, that’s a price I’m willing to pay, I’m gonna make you stand and deliver And give me love in the old-fashion way Woah. Darling, I’ll climb any mountain, darling, When the going gets tough, the tough get going, when the going gets rough, the tough get rough. Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey…
(Billy Ocean, When the going gets tough (Jewel of the Nile)
Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.
‘They were all great men. a wonderful blend of raw courage and spontaneous intellect, great souls of matchless bravery, one of the greatest men of the earth – and thus we have the right to bow down to their memory simply because they were great. Great front assault men up the slopes with an avalanche of explosions and the machine gun fire great soldiers, great specialists, who used their gifts for a most holy cause. We meet to pay a tribute of love and respect to these men who talked like us walked like us laughed like us and loved like us. They used their matchless power for the good of the Nation. The enemy on the heights had to be dismantled and the same was after a brutal fight with the foe clearly at an advantage’
This one is the last in the series of tributes which we could pay to all the great men who showed to the world as to what blind courage is and how an extremely difficult and hazardous task can be achieved if you have the blood boiling in you. But these men are no more but the names would be enshrined in our hearts and they are enshrined on the war memorial tomb to make generations remember that these were the men who gave us our today. But one feeling of regret we would like to attach here: what if they had lived every day as if they were our society’s future and hope? But that simply cannot be possible but their memories are so wholesome that one cannot forget pondering on them and get dissolved in oceans of tears. Next year is not far off!
Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening. These men carried it when one after the other waves of hail of bullets were coming down the slope. They had got the motto, they had the motive and they had the resolve to do the impossible. It was a difficult game that had to be played but it needed both types of toughness one was physical and the other was mental. Both needed to be synchronized and they were. From the instructions everyone knew where the next destination was. Failure in mountains is no failure because there is always time. Comrades who were alive just a moment before are no more but the ascent has to go on. The attitude brimming was that the legs with baggage have to move on. This ought to be the spirit and this was the spirit. They had journeyed all this way because they knew that it was not a sugar candy affair. It was going to be hot boiling caffeine loaded coffee water to be poured downslope at you. But the blisters on the skin had to be tolerated. A few had magnificent words to say about their daughters of today. My daughter isn’t going to grow up as a fragile flower, incapable of taking care of herself. She will train as she fights, and she will fight as she trains. She will be raised to be a totally bad but ruthless fighter’. Many have already become!
I The legacy:
Tough people don’t die easily. You’ll be surprised how much it takes to kill a strong human being. The Pakistani men (in garb of anything) were sitting right at the top thinking that no one could reach them. Brilliantly wrong idea. To an extent they were right but not absolutely because the attacker in the mountains is at a clean disadvantage. But they could not have done anything against the vintage and virtuoso show put up by the men who could be called as climbers for the ultimate victorious destiny and hence the massive gatherings to salute the warriors on 26 July takes place. This is the 22nd year and the next would be twenty third and the same would continue into eternity and infinity. This is what happened in Dras:
A solemn ceremony was held to celebrate the twenty second anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas at the Kargil War Memorial, Dras was held with Shri RK Mathur, Hon’ble Lt Governor UT Ladakh as the Chief Guest who laid a Wreath and paid his tributes to the fallen soldiers in a ceremony held at Kargil War Memorial, symbolizing ‘Shradhanjali (homage)’ from the entire Nation to the Brave hearts.
This year’s Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrations were unique in two ways as the Kargil Vijay Diwas coincided with the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh Victory Flame’ reaching the Kargil War Memorial. The Journey of the Victory Flame across the country commemorates 50 years of triumph in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.
On 26 July, at the Kargil War Memorial, the proceedings commenced with the reception of the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh Victory Flame’ at the Kargil War Memorial by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defense Staff in the presence of Lt Gen YK Joshi, GOC-in-C Northern Command, Lt Gen PGK Menon, GOC 14 Corps, Lt Gen DP Pandey, GOC 15 Corps and Lt Gen MV Suchindra Kumar, GOC 16 Corps,
Other officers, gallantry awardees, Veer Naris, next of kith and kins of martyrs and civil dignitaries were also present. It was followed by a solemn Wreath Laying Ceremony by esteemed civil and military dignitaries. The gallantry awardees of the Kargil War, next of kin of bravehearts, and veer naris also paid their tributes to the fallen heroes with tearful nostalgia. Every year on this day, the nation pays homage to the supreme sacrifices made by our brave knights during Operation Vijay in the Kargil War of 1999.
II At the War memorial:
We cannot expect to have smooth sailing in the ocean of life. Tough times forge men and women to build strength and character. Then with the renewed toughness, one can navigate the turbulence in the ocean of life. So, don’t you dare think of giving up. This too shall pass. And you will do just fine. Keep going! This is what these men taught us and this teaching does ignite fire wholesomely.
The Kargil War memorial, built by the Indian Army, is located in Dras, in the foothills of the Tololing Hill. The memorial, located about 5 km from the city centre across the Tiger Hill, commemorates the martyrs of the Kargil War.
A poem Pushp Kii Abhilasha (Wish of a Flower) by Makhanlal Chaturvedi, a renowned 20th century neo-romantic Hindi poet, is inscribed on the gateway of the memorial.
The names of the soldiers who lost their lives in the War are inscribed on the Memorial Wall and can be read by visitors. A museum attached to the Kargil War Memorial, which was established to celebrate the victory of Operation Vijay, houses pictures of Indian soldiers, archives of important war documents and recordings, Pakistani war equipment and gear, and official emblems of the Army from the Kargil war.
Veer Bhumi memorial each stone had a name along with the rank it held and in few words told you how and when this brave soldier lost his life to keep us safe. A sculpture here celebrates the victory with soldiers holding the tricolor flag of India high against a mighty hill.
Amar Jyoti. Closer to the flame were words written from the Hindi Poem – Pushp Ki Abhilasha by Makhanlal Chaturvedi. This lovely poem is all about a little flower that says it does not want to be offered in a temple or decorate a woman but it wants to lie on the path where the brave men walk to defend their country. This is where the flower would find its ideal place.
Behind the courtyard with the eternal flame is a golden wall – that again tells you the names of each of the soldiers who lost their lives here. Everyone had a heavy heart. No one spoke to anyone. Each thought was with the soldiers who died when we were probably sleeping peacefully at home or cribbing about small little problems in our lives.
You get a feeling here and your heart desires that you should say a few words? But what can we mere mortals speak about the legends of warfare? In the end, all I manufactured were a few words. They all were awesome, the immortals born to become eternally and infinitely famous!