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Event Detail

Wreath laying ceremony organized at Common Wealth War Cemetery in Beirut on 74th Indian Army Day

Lebanon, Ministry of External Affairs

January 15, 2022

Embassy of India, Beirut, and the Indian Battalion at UNIFIL organized a wreath-laying ceremony at the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Beirut on the solemn occasion of 74th Indian Army Day.  Ambassador of India, Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan, and Commanding Officer of the Indian Battalion in UNIFIL, Col. Mohver Singh Grewal, Sena Medal, led the wreath-laying and paid respects to the Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the first and second World Wars.  Wreaths were also laid by Mr. Salam el Achkar, Deputy Chief of Protocol, representing Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, H.E. Dr. Abdallah Bou Habib, General Elías Youssef representing LAF Commander Gen Josef Aoun, Brig-Gen Ramon Armada Vazquez, Sector East Commander UNIFIL, Defence Attaché of German Embassy, Defence Attache US Embassy and Indian Defence Attache Col S P Rawat. Charge d' Affairs UK Embassy, H.E. Ms. Alyson King also paid floral tributes.  Other dignitaries who attended the event included, Mr. Haytham Sayad representing Beirut Governor H.E. Judge Marwan Abboud, H.E. Mr. Hermano Telles Ribeiro, Ambassador of Brazil, H.E. Mr. Yerzhan Kalekenov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan, H.E. Maj Gen MD Jahangir Al Mustahidur Rahman, Ambassador of Bangladesh, HE Mr. Azri Mat Yacob, Ambassador of Malaysia, H.E. Mr.  Panayiotis Kyriacou, Ambassador of Cyprus and H.E. Mr. Hanna Akar, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbados. Diplomats and Defence Attaches from other embassies like the USA, Canada, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Romania, and Slovakia also attended the solemn ceremony.  Col Surya Pratap Rawat Indian Defence Attaché accredited to Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria (resident in Ankara), Mr. Sandeep Grover, Head of Chancery Indian Embassy, other staff members of the Indian Embassy, and officers and soldiers of the 19th Madras Infantry Battalion Group serving as Indian Battalion at UNIFIL also graced the occasion.                                                     The event was also attended by Lebanese civil society members, members of ADLIR (Association of Development of Lebanese India Relations), friends of India, and the Indian diaspora. Mr. Joe Karam, a Lawyer presented a wreath on behalf of the Lebanese Civil Society.  January 15 is commemorated every year as Army Day in remembrance of the martyrs of the Indian Army. The choice of the day dates back to 15 January 1949, when Lieutenant General K. M. Cariappa took over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. Later, Gen Cariappa was given the title of Field Marshal in 1983, the highest rank in the Indian Army. Each year on this day reverence is paid to the brave heroes of the nation, the valiant soldiers who laid down their lives in service of our Motherland.  A total of 447 Indian soldiers from the first and second world wars are resting in various cemeteries in Lebanon, including at Beirut, Tripoli, and Saida. The event started with all-faith prayers and ended with the playing of Last Post by the Indian Battalion Band.