NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid floral tributes to fallen heroes at the National War Memorial on the occasion of the 74th Republic Day celebrations. He led the nation in paying solemn tributes to the fallen heroes by laying a wreath.
The Republic Day celebrations commenced with the homage ceremony at the National War Memorial. PM Modi was received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on his arrival at the National War Memorial.
The Inter Services Guards were founded by 7 Soldiers from each service. This year, the guards will be commanded by an Air Force Officer, Sqn Ldr Akash Ganghas. When the Prime Minister laid the wreath, the Inter-Services Guards presented `Salami Shastra' followed by 'Shok Shastra'. Simultaneously, the buglers sounded the 'Last Post'.
Thereafter, 'two minutes silence' was observed, after which the buglers played 'Rouse' and the guards presented 'Salami Shastra' again. The Prime Minister then endorsed his remarks in the digital Visitor's Book of the National War Memorial. Later, PM Modi and other dignitaries headed to the saluting dais at Rajpath to witness the Republic Day parade.
President Droupadi Murmu will lead the nation in celebrating Republic Day from Kartavya Path, formerly the Raj Path. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is the Chief Guest at the parade, the first Egyptian premier to be invited to the occasion.
Earlier, Prime Minister Modi extended greetings to the nation on the occasion of the 74th Republic Day. "We wish to move ahead unitedly to make the dreams of the great freedom fighters of the country come true."
"Many wishes for Republic Day. This time the occasion is more special because we are celebrating it during the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. I wish we move ahead unitedly to make the dreams of the great freedom fighters of the country come true.
Happy Republic Day to all fellow Indians!" PM Modi said in his tweet in Hindi. The week-long celebrations commenced on January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. To mark the occasion, a one-of-a-kind Military Tattoo and Tribal Dance Festival 'Aadi Shaurya - Parv Parakram ka' was organised in New Delhi on January 23 and 24.
The events will culminate on January 30, which is observed as the 'Martyrs' Day'. The celebrations were marked by attractive performances from 'Vande Bharatam' group of dancers from across the country, tales of bravery by Veer Gatha 2.0 participants, melodious performances by School Bands at the National War Memorial, first-ever e-invitations, largest-ever drone show and 3-D anamorphic projection.
The Republic Day parade, which will begin at around 1030 hrs, will be a unique mix of the country's military prowess and cultural diversity, depicting the country's growing indigenous capabilities, Nari Shakti and emergence of a 'New India'. In line with tradition, the Tricolour was unfurled, followed by the National Anthem and a booming 21-gun salute.
Amongst the many firsts, the 21-gun salute was given with the 105-mm Indian Field Guns. It replaced the vintage 25 pounder gun, demonstrating 'Aatmanirbharta' (self-reliance) in defence. Four Mi-17 1V/V5 helicopters of 105 Helicopter Unit showered petals on the audience present at Kartavya Path.
The parade commenced with the President taking the customary salute. Marching down the Kartavya Path for the first time was the combined Band & Marching contingent of the Egyptian Armed Forces, led by Colonel Mahmoud Mohamed Abdel Fattah El Kharasawy.
The contingent consisted of 144 soldiers, representing the main branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces. The first contingent in the uniform of the 61 Cavalry was led by Captain Raizada Shaurya Bali. The 61 Cavalry is the only serving active Horse Cavalry Regiment in the world, with the amalgamation of all the 'State Horse Units'.
Cultural performances by 479 artists chosen through the nationwide Vande Bharatam dance competition added colour to the Republic Day parade. The theme of the cultural extravaganza was 'Nari Shakti' presented by 326 female dancers and ably supported by 153 male dancers, in the age group of 17-30 years.
They presented classical, folk and contemporary fusion dances, depicting the 'Power of Women' through five elements -- Earth, Water, Air, Space and Fire. This is the second time that the dancers of the cultural programme were selected through a nationwide competition.
Another highlight of the show was a thrilling motorcycle display by 'Corps of Signals' Dare Devils team. They enthralled the audience with an array of formations, which will also include a Yoga display.
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