New Delhi: After a wait of almost 60-years, the country will get the National War Memorial (NWM) on Monday. The memorial will be dedicated to Indian soldiers who laid their lives for the country since its independence in 1947.

The memorial, which has been constructed to honour around 26,000 soldiers, will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 25.

The construction of a war memorial was considered by the government since the early 1970s, but the final approval from the cabinet came only in 2015. The NWM was then built at a cost of Rs 176 crore.

Why another war memorial?

Currently, there were two memorials for armed forces: India Gate and Amar Jawan Jyoti. 

The 42-meter-high India Gate was built by the British Indian Army in 1931 to commemorates the sacrifices of more than 83,000 Indian soldiers who were killed during World War I and the Afghan campaign.

The India Gate bears 13,516 names, etched all over the structure.

The Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate is a tribute to the memory of 3,843 Indian soldiers killed during the 1971 India-Pakistan war. 

The decision to make another war memorial was taken as the Indian armed forces have been in many conflicts and counter-terror operations since independence. But there is no dedicated memorial for them at the national level. 

After the inauguration of the NWM, all the ceremonial functions, which are held at Amar Jawan Jyoti, will move to the new war memorial.

Who all are included in the memorial

The memorial pays befitting tribute to our soldiers who laid down their lives defending the nation during Indo-China War in 1962, Indo-Pak Wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971, Indian Peace Keeping Force Operations in Srilanka and in the Kargil Conflict in 1999. The National War Memorial also commemorates the soldiers who participated and made supreme sacrifice in UN Peace Keeping Missions, during HADR Operations, Counter Insurgency Operations and Low-Intensity Capital Operation (LICO).

Each brick has a name of a soldier, his ID, regiment, and rank. An app will be available with which one can type the name of the solider and find the location of his brick. A provision also exists by which new names can be added. 

Design of memorial

An international design competition was conducted in 2016 based on which the memorial has been made. The memorial is having a layout of four landscaped concentric circles spread over 40 acres. The four circles — Amar Chakra (circle of immortality), Veer Chakra (circle of bravery), Tyag Chakra (circle of sacrifice) and Rakshak Chakra (circle of protection) — will include a 15m tall obelisk with eternal flame, bronze murals, graphic panels, inscription of names of martyrs and busts of 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees.
The NWM is situated right next to the India Gate. The memorial will also see a retreat ceremony daily and it is expected to become a major attraction. Change of guard will take place every Sunday at 9.50 am with a ceremonial wreath laying to commemorate the important days. Though it will be open daily, there are timing: 9 am to 7.30 pm in summers while 9 am to 6.30 pm in winters.