PUNE: A number of activities were organised at INS Shivaji, Lonavala as part of Navy Day celebrations on 04 Dec 21 in consonance with the theme of the Navy Week 2021, “Indian Navy – Combat Ready, Credible and Cohensive”. Navy Day is historically observed on 04 December every year, to commemorate the daring attack on Karachi harbour, which was launched by the Indian Navy’s missile boats in the 1971 war. The attack paralysed Pakistan’s entire coastal defence apparatus and was a decisive step in the final outcome of the war. The year 2021 also marks the 50th anniversary “Swarnim Vijay Varsh” of the 1971 Indo-Pak War, the historic victory of India’s armed forces in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.
On 04 Dec 21, a ‘wreath laying ceremony’ was conducted with Cmde Arvind Rawal, Commanding Officer INS Shivaji and Station Commander Lonavala laying a floral wreath at War Memorial to pay homage to the Officers and Sailors of the Indian Navy who made the supreme sacrifice and laid down their lives for the nation in the Indo-Pak War 1971, which was followed by a two minutes silence to honour the sacrifice of every soldier, known and unknown in the service of the nation.
Later in the evening, martial tunes were played by the INS Shivaji Band including the distant chimes of the tube bells creating a mesmerising ambience before the Naval ensign was lowered at the ‘Sunset Ceremony’ which enthralled the audience comprising 600 personnel comprising Station personnel including parents of Sea Cadet Corps. The INS Shivaji Band also regaled the audience with soul touching performances symbolising the Indian Navy and it’s collective identity as part of ‘Beating Retreat’ ceremony.
The ‘Continuity Drill’ showcasing the adept handling of weapons involving complicated and daring manoeuvres showcasing the courage of the Naval personnel left the audience spell bound. The Sea Cadet Corps, which comprises school children in the age group of 11-14 years, performed the ‘Hornpipe Dance’ which imitates the life of a sailor and their duties aboard ships and ‘Cane Drill’ which was executed without any voice command with precision. The event culminated with the Station Commander hosting an “At Home” function for Veterans, local Govt and other dignitaries to cement comradeship amongst all stakeholders. All activities were conducted adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols.