Washington: On arrival in the US, Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his visit by laying a wreath at the Arlington Memorial.
This is where the bodies of American soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country have been laid down to rest. The Tomb of Unknown Soldier is dedicated to American soldiers who died without their remains being identified.
Modi is the third Indian Prime Minister to visit the Arlington Memorial after former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru in 1949 and Indira Gandhi in 1966.
Arlington National Cemetery, as it is officially known, is the final resting place of many of the US’ greatest heroes, including more than 300,000 veterans of every American conflict, from the Revolutionary War to Iraq and Afghanistan, the US National Park Services website states.
“Since its founding in 1866, Arlington National Cemetery has provided a solemn place to reflect upon the sacrifices made by the men and women of the United States Armed Forces in the name of our country,” the website reads.
The Prime Minister also laid a wreath at the Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial. Here he met American astronaut Sunita Williams and the family of Indo-American astronaut Kalpana Chawla who were also present at the Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial.
During his meeting with the families of the astronauts, Modi extended an invitation to Sunita’s father to visit India.
PM Modi arrived in the US on Monday afternoon on the fourth leg of a five-nation tour.
— ANI (@ANI_news) 6 June 2016