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In MemoriamDate: Saturday, 12 November, 2005

On Friday 12th November at 11am, amidst the hustle and bustle of central London, a small group stood in silence at the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill. They were gathered in order to pay their respects for the heroic sacrifice of the soldiers of the Indian army who served in the World Wars.

The flames from the twin gates battling against the wind and threatening rain seemed to symbolise the very essence of the ceremony. The Memorial Gates were erected in order to preserve memories of the brave servicemen who have been so often cruelly overlooked by history.

As Baroness Flather and Karan Bilimoria finished their evocative addresses, the bugles of the Gurka Regiment sounded the haunting notes of the last post.

The measure of the importance of the gathering was not in the numbers that attended, but in what they represented: a determination that the memory of those sacrifices cannot be allowed to be diminished with the passage of time.

The light blue turbans of the Sikh veterans were as conspicuous as always. They are a dwindling group, but their pride and commitment shone clearly in their faces. Sikh representatives from the British Sikh Council, British Organisation of Sikh Students, Maharajah Duleep Singh Centenary Trust and the Metropolitan Police Sikh Association laid commemorative wreaths at the ceremony.

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