Armed Forces Veterans Day, observed each year ever since 2017 on 14th January as a mark of respect and recognition of the services rendered by Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa—the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian armed forces who retired on 14 January 1953—is meant to commemorate the selfless devotion and sacrifice of our veterans; many of whom laid down their lives in service of the nation and also to salute the indomitable spirit of those personnel who served the Indian Armed Forces with pride and honour.
For Field Marshal Cariappa’s illustrious career and contributions to the nation, he was accorded the rank of Field Marshal in 1986. Despite his advancing age, he made many visits to the front line troops to boost their morale and motivate them. He was active till his last breath on 15 May 1993, at the age of 94 years.
The first Armed Forces Veterans Day was organised on 14 January 2017. The aim is to strengthen the bond between the ex-servicemen and the serving personnel. This is also a forum to enhance the satisfaction levels pertaining to issues of pension and welfare of veterans and their Next of Kin. The event also serves to strengthen the bond between serving personnel and the veterans. Personnel from the Armed Forces across the country are forever indebted to the contribution of our Veterans for laying a strong foundation and charting a path to glory with honour and courage.
CEREMONY AT NAVAL DOCKYARD, MUMBAI
On the occasion of the Veterans Day, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at the newly created Victory at Sea Monument “Gaurav Stambh” within the Naval Dockyard premises at Mumbai. Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command laid a wreath at a solemn ceremony to pay tribute those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of the nation. Rear Admiral Srinivas Vennam, Flag Officer Commanding, Maharashtra Naval Area, Air Vice Marshal Shiv Ratan Singh, the Air Officer Commanding, HQ Maritime Air Operations, and Major General Raj Sinha, the Chief of Staff of the MG & G Area as also Veterans from the three services laid wreaths on behalf of the respective Services. On completion the FOCinC West interacted with the attendees over tea at the Headquarters of the Western Naval Command.
In addition to the formal ceremony, an e-Rally was organised for the larger ex-Servicemen community over a virtual platform to effectively reach out to them without violating any Covid protocols. Towards this e-kiosks were set up and manned by services representatives to resolve queries and address difficulties being faced by the veterans.
CELEBRATIONS AT VIZAG
On the occasion of the Armed Forces Veterans Day, a Wreath Laying Ceremony was conducted at the War Memorial on the Beach Road Visakhapatnam yesterday. A floral wreath was placed at the War Memorial this morning by Capt Vijay Singh, Officer-in-Charge Naval Coastal Battery on behalf of ENC. Commander M.S.M.K. Sarma (Retd) and (Dr) Chandra Shekhar P., Retd Master Chief Petty Officer (Medical) from Navy Foundation and Veteran Sailors Forum respectively also laid the wreaths at the War Memorial. Ceremonial Guard was paraded at the venue and a two-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to the personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice. This day is also dedicated to the indomitable spirit of personnel who served the Indian Navy with pride and honour. The event also strengthens the bond between serving personnel and the Veterans.
COMMEMORATION AT KOCHI
The Armed Forces Veterans Day, was commemorated by Southern Naval Command (SNC) at Kochi as well. Commodore NAJ Joseph, Commanding Officer, INS Venduruthy and the Station Commander, Kochi along with the Veterans from all three Services laid a wreath at the War Memorial inside naval base, Kochi. This was followed by a Veterans Online Rally, chaired by Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, SNC. A total of 30 ex-servicemen from the Army, Air Force and Navy, settled post retirement in and around Kochi, attended the event, which served to remind both serving and retired personnel of the supreme sacrifice made by their brothers in arms towards the defence of our nation. Vice Admiral MP Muralidharan (Retd), the present President of the Navy Foundation, Kochi Charter, was the senior-most veteran present.
AT NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL, PUNE
On the occasion of Veterans Day Lieutenant General CP Mohanty, GOC-in-C, Southern Command and Lieutenant General B.T. Pandit, Vir Chakra (Retd) laid wreath at the National War Memorial and paid tributes to the brave hearts who laid down their lives in service to the Nation. The Army Commander said that Veterans are our pride and a continuous source of inspiration for all serving soldiers. He emphasised that the Army is committed towards their welfare and there is a constant endeavour to reach out and address concerns on priority. The Army Commander while remembering the contribution of veterans in various wars for the nation said that it is the valour, grit, determination and bravery of these brave-hearts which continues to motivate the present and future generations of the Armed Forces. He said that commemoration of the Armed Forces Veterans Day acknowledges and honours the selfless devotion, dedication and sacrifice of our veterans in their service of the Nation.
PURVA SAINIK PUNARMILAN
Today, after these unsung heroes have hung up their uniforms it is our solemn duty as a nation and as an organisation to show that how much we care. With this in mind a Purva Sainik Punarmilan Samaroh was organised by HQ Purva UP andMP Sub Area. During the event financial assistance were distributed to 10 needy Veteran Widows, and 10 handicapped wards of veterans. Maj Gen I.M. Lamba, GOC, addressed the Veterans fraternity. During his address he appreciated contributions and sacrifices made by ex servicemen and Veer Naris and reiterated that the welfare and well being of Veterans was a focus area for all three services. He emphasised on the need to reconnect with our veterans and veer naris, who are source of motivation for the current generation. He informed about various programmes and efforts being undertaken to reach out to them viz., registration on DIAV portal, undertaking and streamlining various outreach programmes. He reiterated that the aim of the event is to send out a clear message to our veterans that the nation and the armed forces care about them.