Vác was getting ready to install or remove a few statues and had them all grouped together in the town square. The juxtaposition of a lion with a WWI monument made for a couple interesting images.
The India Gate honors 70,000 Indians who died during World War I fighting on behalf of the United Kingdom. Beneath the arch is India’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
It’s India’s answer to the Arc de Triomphe, and it sits at the opposite end of the Rajpath from the President’s house, i.e. the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Like the President’s house, the Gate was designed by Edwin Lutyens, a famous British architect.
The India Gate is among the must-see sights for visitors to New Delhi.
At a military cemetery like this one, a poem always plays in my mind. It was the first poem I ever memorized in full (not including snippets of some disturbing mandatory children’s poems like “Ring Around the Rosie” [said to be about the Black Death] and–in Indiana–“The Little Orphan Annie” [about an enslaved orphan threatened with goblins.])
At any rate, the poem in question is In Flanders Fields by John McCrae. Sadly, I chose to memorize this poem for a school assignment of poetry recitation because it seemed short and it rhymed. However, in many subsequent re-readings it has become a very powerful bit of verse for me. It may not be perfectly apropos for Independence Day as it was written by a Canadian and is about an entirely different war. However, in some sense it’s about all wars and one motive that drives soldiers of free nations to fight them.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.