Drass (Jammu and Kashmir): The 16th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas was observed here on Sunday with a solemn ceremony that brought back memories of the bravehearts who sacrificed their lives to lead India to victory in the 1999 conflict against Pakistan.
The proceedings here in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir began with a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at the Drass War Memorial led by the army's Northern Command chief Lieutenant General D.S. Hooda.
Gallantry award winners, widows and other family members of martyrs, army officers and civil officials paid tributes to those who lost their lives in the line of duty.
This was followed by a pledge taken by all those present at the function to rededicate themselves to the cause of the nation.
The army commander interacted with the families and gallantry award winners.
The sombre mood brought back memories of the losses borne so proudly by the families in the summer of 1999.
Many in the audience were moved to tears when the bugles played the poignant notes of "The Last Post" after the wreath-laying ceremony.
The commemorative event is held every year to mark India's victory.
It also gives many people the rare opportunity to meet the heroes of the conflict in person and interact with them.
Indian Army chief General Dalbir Singh paid homage at the war memorial on Saturday.
Addressing the veterans of the Kargil conflict, relatives of martyrs and soldiers deployed to protect the country's frontiers in the cold Ladakh region, General Dalbir Singh said nobody would be allowed to repeat Kargil.
The army chief recalled the days when he served as a field commander in the area.
He praised the dedication of the soldiers, saying discharging duties in such a hostile terrain and weather needs exemplary courage for which the soldiers of India are famous all over the World.