Indian armed forces is highly professional and counted among the best in the world which is a result of the indomitable courage of the veterans and their sacrifices, Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande said on Saturday. Addressing a gathering of ex-servicemen on the occasion of the seventh Armed Forces Veterans Day celebrations here, he asserted that inspired by the contributions of veterans, all the three services of the armed forces, “is ready to face any challenge as a formidable instrument of the nation”.
IAF chief Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari and Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar also shared the dais with the Army chief during the celebrations held at the Manekshaw Centre here. A large number of veterans drawn from the three wings of the armed forces had also gathered at the venue.
“Today, our armed forces is counted among the best and highly professional forces in the world. This identity (of the forces) is a result of your sacrifices, indomitable courage and hard labour. Inspired by it, all the three services of the armed forces, as a formidable instrument, is ready to face any challenge,” Gen Pande said.
The Navy chief, in his address, said the armed forces of today is a product of the efforts, visionary leadership, aspirations and selfless efforts put in by “each one of our veterans”.
“It is an honour for me to be present here and interact with you all. Today is also an occasion to remember and pay homage to our valiant warriors who dedicated their lives to the nation,” Admiral Kumar said.
He said the Navy would like to assure everybody that it will leave no stone unturned in carrying forward the legacy of the veterans.
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The IAF chief also extended greetings to the veterans on the occasion.
“We would like to reassure our air veterans that the Indian Air Force is fully committed to your well-being. The old adage, serving those who will serve, will always be the cornerstone of our endeavours,” he said.
The Army chief also said it is a matter of pride that the veterans of the armed forces are making valuable contributions in various fields, to the progress of the nation.
Gen Pande also extended his greetings on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Bihu and Uttarayan festivals.
Representatives of various ex-servicemen’s organisations also attended the event.
The Armed Forces Veterans Day is celebrated on January 14. It was on this day in 1953 that the first Indian Commander in Chief of the Indian Army — Field Marshal K M Cariappa, who led Indian forces to victory in the 1947 war — formally retired.
The first Armed Forces Veterans Day was celebrated on January 14, 2016, and it was decided to commemorate this day every year by hosting interactive events in honour of veterans and their families, according to the defence ministry.
This year, Veterans Day is being celebrated at nine locations — Juhunjhunu, Jalandhar, Panagarh, New Delhi, Dehradun, Chennai, Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar and Mumbai — by the three Service Headquarters.