In order to pay tribute to Indian soldiers, whose sacrifices are often forgotten, United Service Institution of India (USI) aims to observe a ‘remembrance day’ for them.
They have zeroed on December 7 and want marigold as the symbol. Though December 7 is observed as Armed Forces Flag Day in India, a tradition that started in 1949, not many people are aware of it. Squadron Leader Rana Chhina (Retd) of USI’s Centre for Armed Forces Historical Research said
“Over the years, the event has lost its significance as most people aren’t even aware of it. And that’s the reason why it’s so important to have our own day of remembrance on Flag Day. We feel for all of us to honour our soldiers better, we need to tell our people what our soldiers did before and after Independence.”
Soldiers carry coffin of Col MN Rai in Srinagar
Internationally, ‘Remembrance Sunday’ is held on the second sunday in November to commemorate the contribution of military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.
Though red poppy is the symbol for the international Remembrance Sunday, India wants marigold as the symbol.
“The marigold is sacred to both Hindus and Muslims, and has been traditionally offered in temples and at tombs of sufi seers and emperors like Akbar and Sher Shah Suri. We believe this is the best possible floral symbol of Indian remembrance,” said Major General Ian Cardozo (Retd).
An Indian army man saluting a casket bearing the body of a soldier asiafinest
The project will be supported by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It will also promote Indian war memorials worldwide.