Old Soldiers Never Die..
They just fade away.
List your heroes.
Is there someone in uniform there?
Chances are, the answer is no.
Even if there is, chances are it is a high-profile officer, like the Late Field Marshals Sam Manekshaw or KM Cariappa.
We, as a nation, have not been kind to our real heroes.
Officers and men who have pledged their lives and limbs to guard our nation, to protect us from our enemies. Men and women who stare death in the face every day while patrolling our borders. People who have fought immense odds, including loss of limbs, but soldiered on nevertheless.
We all have someone we know who did something brave. It could be that great grand uncle who thumbed his nose at the British and tried to enter a restaurant reserved for the whites.
That distant relative who screwed up his courage and ventured into enemy territory as a decoy, to let his unit sneak into position from somewhere else.
Or that disabled jawan who refused to let his lack of limbs break his spirit.
Have you heard of Havaldar Yam Bahadur of the Recoilless Rifle Platoon? He brought down three Pakistani Patton Tanks at Khem Karan (Punjab) in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965. Know your men - An ode to unsung heroes like Yam Bahadur
Or Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla, the captain of INS Khukri, who went down with his ship in the 1971 war after saving all the men he could, just because `captains don`t abandon their ships`. O Captain! My Captain! - An ode to Mulla
There are heroes all around us, protecting our hard-won independence and democracy for 61 long years.
Our men and women in uniform, our armed forces-people for whom the nation comes first. People that we, unfortunately, take for granted.
Do you know such a hero? A family member, a friend, or even a fellow officer who has kept the faith? Someone who proved that impossible is just another word?
Could it be someone in uniform in those old fading snapshots in your family album?
Help us by sending us those memories, those photographs, those stories which need to be told. Or even a phone number where we can reach you.
Join us as we at Sify.com pay tribute to these men and women, living or dead. Let us not let them fade away.