Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day !!

Happy Thanksgiving !! Here's my piece on who I want to thank on Thanksgiving published in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle today :

Brave soldiers

Thanksgiving Day 1994 found me in Tanga, Tanzania, a small coastal town on the Indian Ocean. I was working with a Singapore-based trading firm trying to get a cashew processing unit operational. I had been invited to lunch at the house of one of our local partners. As I got out of the car and walked to his home I saw a small, nicely maintained cemetery across from his home. As I was early and am a keen history buff, I stepped inside. It was a graveyard maintained by the Commonwealth Graves Commission commemorating Allied soldiers who had died there during the world wars.

As I walked to one of the commemorative walls, and started reading the names, my hair stood on edge. Listed there were countless soldiers from my native India who had died there valiantly battling for their British masters. Turned out, Tanga was an important battle site in the African campaigns during both world wars.

So every Thanksgiving I say thanks to the countless soldiers who fight and die bravely in distant lands, some for causes they believe in and others as pawns in games played by their political masters.

Seth is on the Board of Contributors.

1 comment:

dalip said...

Well written,Deepak.Respecting fallen soldiers is a sign of a healthy and vibrant society.Soldiers bear arms to protect fellow citizens and their sacrifices should be recognised.The British have nourished the culture of honouring their soldiers which lead to the formation of the Commonwealth Graves Commission.We need to emulate their example.I was appaled when the relatives of British soldiers who died fighting during the Sepoy Mutiny 1857 were attacked by goons of a political party while they were praying at a church ceremony in Meerut recently.The Hindu culture teaches us to honour fallen warriors regardless of their affiliation as depicted in the Mahabharata and Bhagwat Gita.

It is not for nothing that Army teaches you to recover your dead in the battlefield even at the cost of suffering more casualties so that fallen comrades can be creamated with the dignity and honour which their deed deserve.

Dalip Gogia

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