According to Indian Army Chief Gen. Manoj Pande, the reason why the Indian armed forces are among the best in the world and highly professional is because of the veterans’ unwavering courage and selfless sacrifices.
Speaking to a group of former service members on the occasion of the sixth Armed Forces Veterans Day celebrations, he said that all three of the armed services are “ready to face any challenge as a formidable instrument of the nation” having been motivated by the contributions of veterans.
During the celebrations conducted at the Manekshaw centre, IAF Commander Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari and Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar also shared the dais with the army chief.
“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 declared that the navy wants to reassure everyone that it would do all possible to uphold the veterans’ legacy.
On this occasion, the IAF chief also sent greetings to the veterans.
“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 remarked that it is a source of pride that military veterans are significantly advancing nation in a variety of ways.
On the occasions of the Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Bihu, and Uttarayan festivals, Gen Pande also sent his greetings.
The gathering was also attended by representatives of several ex-service organisations.
Veterans Day for the armed forces is observed on January 14. Field Marshal K M Cariappa, who led Indian forces to victory in the 1947 war, was the first Indian Commander in Chief of the Indian Army, and he officially retired on this day in 1953.
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.