BHARAT DARSHAN – SALUTATIONS TO MARIGOLD
I warmly share the feelings of Ian Cardozo to recognize Marigold flower as Symbol of India’s Remembrance Day to pay our respectful tribute to all soldiers who sacrificed their lives defending our Nation since the day of its birth on August 15, 1947.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
REMEMBRANCE DAY – REMEMBERING INDIA’S WAR DEAD
Would be grateful if you could send this attached article and poem on Remembrance Day and the Marigold to your list of persons and veterans who are in receipt of your e-mails.
Remembrance Day – Remembering India’s War Dead
Soldiers die every day in the line of duty – in the jungles of the North East, in the icy wastes of Ladakh and Siachen, fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and in a myriad other death-defying scenarios. Sometimes when the death is dramatic, it makes news – most often they die in quiet oblivion. Either way, they are soon forgotten, except by the families in whose homes the lights went out when they lost a father, son or brother.
What is important however is to realise that the ultimate sacrifice made by soldiers yesterday, today and tomorrow needs to be remembered
Next year will make seventy years since the 1947-48 Indo-Pak war, and we as yet, do not have a proper war memorial for all who have died in all the wars and counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations that we have fought since independence. Families of dead soldiers have been waiting patiently for the war memorial so that they can pray at the site for their loved ones who made the supreme sacrifice. In the meantime many of these families have themselves passed away having waited all these years in vain. The Indian soldier has been told that the memorial is in the pipeline and that this project will be completed in five years time. When did the countdown of five years start and when will it finish? A promise is a promise only if it has a deadline!
In the meanwhile, veterans of the armed forces feel that something ought to be done till then. They have voiced the need for a Remembrance Day and a symbol to remember India’s ‘Unknown Soldier’. The West has the poppy as its symbol of remembrance. Indian veterans feel that no flower could be more meaningful as a symbol of remembrance for the war dead of India than the marigold. They suggest that a day could be nominated as ‘Remembrance Day’ and the marigold as the symbol of remembrance. The poem below encapsulates their sentiments.
Ian Cardozo, 28 March 2016
Our Marigold, this simple flower
In many ways it meets the hour
of valiant soldiers who in combat die
And to their Maker skywards fly.
From ancient times, this favourite bloom
Has commemorated ‘womb to tomb’
Of life and death in equal measure
And other moments we all treasure
But in time of war, this flower has shed
Her fragrant petals to mourn her dead
For those who fought for you and me
And sacrificed their destiny.
So pause a moment all that care
And offer up in silent prayer
This sacred flower for a soldier’s death
To remember, lest we soon forget
Ian Cardozo, 28 March, 2016