The first stop on the itinerary of the US President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle after their arrival at the luxury Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel was at the memorial for the 26/11 victims at the heritage wing of the hotel.
It was symbolic homage to the victims and martyrs who lost their lives in Mumbai during the three day siege of the hotel two years back. Nearly 32 people out of the 166 victims of the attacks died at the hotel and all their names have been engraved on a marble plaque inscripted with the title 'For now and forever you will inspire us'.
Obama and Michelle both placed single white roses at this plaque, before Obama wrote in the guest book meant for the visitors here.
While the US president was dressed in a blue suit and a tie, his wife chose a dove grey buttoned tunic dress with long sleeves and below the knee hem line. She had elegantly paired the demure dress with bold pearl necklace and silver shoes.
Even as the shutterbugs went on an overdrive at the first photo ops of the couple at the Taj hotel, Obama wrote: We will always remember the events of 26/11 not only the sorrow but also the courage and the humanity that was displayed that day. The US stands in solidarity with all of Mumbai and all of India in working to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and we offer our long lasting friendship with the people of India.
Michelle signed this joint message and the couple spent a few moments looking up the plaque and the unique brass `tree of life’. The tree of life, a brass memorabilia was the only thing that was not destroyed in the attacks after fires gutted the entire sixth floor of the hotel. It now stands next to the plaque as a symbol of victory of life over destruction and death.