Brothers In Arms
13 April, 2012
By Adnan Gill
All rise... Attention... Present salute... Gaze down!
My fellow brothers and sisters; here under 60 feet of snow and ice, our brethren in arms rest in peace. Think of them not as the dead; think of them as alive for eternity; as this is how they would have wanted us to remember them and this is how the God has instructed us to remember the martyrs.
Here, shoulder to shoulder, lay some one hundred and thirty brave men who were not afraid to instill fear deep in the hearts of their enemies. Here lay honorable men who dreamt of no greater gift but to give the ultimate sacrifice, not for self, not for family, not for material, not for glory, but for the motherland.
Here lays a Punjabi, a Pathan, a Baluch, a Sindhi and a Muhajir for one and only one purpose, to defend the land that belongs to you and me, so we can live together in peace and harmony. Here lay the brave, so we can return to our children and our families after a long day of work. Here lay the selfless, so we will wake up to the sun shining over the same borders. Here lay the soon to be forgotten so there will always be few who will keep the vigil for our honor and freedom.
Here lays a son, a brother, a husband and a father who ensured our freedom knowing well and good that one day he may lay his life for the love of our nation, but not for a piece of a land or seat in the parliament. Here lays a son whose only legacy will be of bravery, not of dynasty. Here lays a husband who embraced martyrdom, with a smile, over the control of his wife's fiefdom. Here lays a father whose memory will be of his martyrdom, not of his political wisdom.
Do not shed a tear for a mother who lost a piece of her heart. Do not cry for a father who lost the rock holding his back. Do not shed a tear for the wife who lost her soul mate and love of life. Do not cry for a child whose friend, and guide is lost for life. His only wish is for them to look high into the sky with plenty of pride.
Who will look over his sources of pride? God and those from all walks of life with a desire to do the right. Who will answer the cries of the children whose fathers can't be awoken? You and me, whose faith can't be shaken. Who will solace the wives of fearless? Those among us who are righteous. Who will mend the hearts of the parents whose sons have fallen? Plenty of sons whose hearts thirst to maintain our freedom.
Return to your homes knowing there are many more who will follow in their footsteps, as they followed in the footsteps of thousands before them. Return to your homes to honor them with a promise that you will spend at least one day of your life without lying, cheating, stealing or killing. Return to your homes in a hope that one day you will shake the hand of his proud father. Return to your homes to wipe the tears of his grieving mother. Return to your homes to leave a word of kindness for his inconsolable wife. Return to your homes to hug his bewildered child. As that's the least we can do for the loved ones of the brothers in arms.
Who lays here in uniforms so white, under tons of snow and ice, at dizzying heights? Brave men who were not afraid to fight for the rights of ordinary and bright. Next time you see a soldier, don't forget to thank him for his service, as he may be the next in line to embrace the most coveted prize, the martyrdom!
Rest well, rest well our brothers in arms. May your sacrifice bring sanity into madness spread all over Pakistan. May your dedication become a source inspiration for generations to come.