On the occasion of the 71st Republic Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to fallen soldiers by lying a wreath at the recently inaugurated National War Memorial (NWM) in New Delhi. Following the wreath-laying ceremony, the 90-minute-long Republic Day parade ceremony kickstarted. This was the first time that the PM laid a wreath at the National War Memorial on Republic Day instead of the Amar Jawaan Jyoti under the arch of the India Gate.
The Prime Minister was received at the war memorial by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the first-ever Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, Air Force Chief Air Marshal RKS Bhaduria. After the Prime Minister laid the wreath, the Guard Commander gave Salami Shastra. PM Modi also wrote his message in the visitor's book at the National War Memorial.
The National War Memorial was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi near India Gate, on February 25, 1019. The War Memorial was built to pay homage to all the soldiers killed during the Indo-China War in 1962, the Indo-Pak Wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971, the Kargil Conflict in 1999, and the Indian Peace Keeping Force operations in Sri Lanka. The National War Memorial has been constructed over an area of 40 acres. It comprises of four concentric circles — the Amar Chakra, Veerta Chakra, Tyag Chakra and the Rakshak Chakra. These concentric circles grounding the memorial contain names of the 25,942 soldiers that gave their lives during these wars. Their names are etched in golden letters on granite tablets.