The bodies of the 20 bravehearts martyred in the MI 17 V5 helicopter crash on way to Kedarnath on June 25 were brought to the Defense Services Officer's Institute (DSOI) Golf Course in Dehradun on Friday where they were given guard of honour by the personnel of the Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Uttarakhand Police and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
The caskets containing the dead bodies of 9 NDRF, 5 Air force and 6 ITBP personnel were laid at the altar where the senior officials of the Uttarakhand Police, Indo Tibet Border Police and ministers laid wreath as a mark of respect to the departed souls.
Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde paid last respect to the martyrs by laying the wreath and said that the nation was proud that they had laid down their lives in the line of duty.
Chief of Army staff general Bikram Singh praised the efforts of the army and the other agencies engaged in the rescue operations, "My heart goes out to the victims of the calamities and we are doing the best we can in these circumstances", he said.
The Chief of Army Staff asserted that the army never waits for requisitioning by the governments under such circumstances of national importance and follow a proactive approach of joining the rescue and relief works on their own.
"I had asked my men to get engaged in the rescue operations and save at the earliest", said that army chief. He also emphasised that there was good coordination between the various agencies engaged in the rescue works in the state.
Union Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi also laid wreath on the bodies of the martyrs and said that the whole country was with Uttarakhand in this hour of need.
Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna also paid last respect to the martyrs and saluted their act of bravery in saving the lives of citizens of Uttarakhand.