India remembers World War II soldiers
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Last Updated: Friday, May 07, 2010, 14:40
United Nations: Marking the 65th anniversary of the end of the World War II, India has paid tributes to the soldiers who lost their life during the fight against Nazi forces.

Noting the contribution of Indian soldiers in the war, India's ambassador to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, said: "It is very important to also note and remember the huge contributions and sacrifices made by people in other parts of the world."

"This is certainly true of my country," Puri said.

The Indian envoy pointed out that at the start of the World War II, the Indian army comprised of 200,000 men but then grew to 2.5 million men.

"The largest volunteer force ever raised in history and it participated in most of the crucial campaigns of World War II, suffering nearly 35,000 fatalities and over a 100,000 injured," Puri said.

"Sacrifices of our valorous young men and their families have ensured that we live in a world free of fascism," he added.

Several countries spoke at the commemoration that was organised by Russia at the UN headquarters, which was attended by many war veterans.

"There would be no United Nations without World War II," said Alejandro D Wolff, US Deputy Ambassador to the UN.

"Out of that great struggle came lasting resolve-a determination to defend the inalienable rights of all people, to unite against aggression, and to insist that civilians be spared during even the most furious conflict," he added.

"I stand before you today to reaffirm that my country has accepted its responsibility for the crimes committed by Nazi Germany. This responsibility we will never abdicate," said Peter Wittig, Germany's ambassador to the UN.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pointed out the appalling death toll of 40 million civilians and 20 million soldiers, nearly half of those in the Soviet Union alone.

"Those were years of unspeakable atrocities of lost faith and lost humanity, "Ban said.

"Those years saw extraordinary bravery, as well. World War II was one of the most epic struggles for freedom and liberation in history," he added.


First Published: Friday, May 07, 2010, 14:40

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