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Subject: Story of a migrant: America's soldier, India's son
capitalist72    12/11/2003 10:03:38 AM
Here's a story of a migrant. Since 90% of migrants, and 99% of NGOs are not related to terrorism, this category should probablybe renamed "Terrorist Infiltration and Support" or something similar. That way it does not do injustice to migrants like Uday Singh. America's soldier, India's son cremated with US honours Thursday December 11 2003 18:52 IST IANS CHANDIGARH: In what was the first time that a foreign army held a funeral ceremony in India, a young US Army sergeant who died in Iraq was Thursday cremated in his hometown here with full US honours. It wasn't the tricolour that the body was draped in, but the stars and stripes. It wasn't The Last Post that was played, but Taps, its US Army equivalent. And both India and the US mourned the loss of Uday Singh, the 21-year-old US Army sergeant of Indian origin - an American hero and an Indian son. The funeral pyre was lit by Uday's father Preet Mohinder Singh, a former Indian Army officer, in the presence of grieving relatives, friends and the Commander of the US Army's Pacific Command Lieutenant General James Campbell, who had flown in specially from Hawaii. Uday's body was flown from the US in a commercial airline to New Delhi from where it was brought to his home here by road around 10 a.m. The coffin draped in the US flag was brought out from the vehicle and a group of US soldiers folded the American flag into a triangle. Campbell handed over the flag to Uday's father after laying a wreath on the coffin. The US soldiers then presented a guard of honour to Uday, whose body was draped in "Class A" uniform, by firing a volley of shots. Indian Army soldiers belonging to the Western Command here, who were loaned for the ceremony, sounded the bugle playing Taps. There was pin drop silence during the funeral ceremony as Uday's relations, including his grandmother and 11-year-old sister, Bani, watched with their eyes glistening with tears. Addressing the Singh family and the gathering of their relations and friends, Campbell said: "Sergeant Uday Singh was and always will be an American soldier. He always placed the mission first. He never accepted defeat and he never quit. "He is our hero. Today, we stand tall as a nation and an army and in our grieving take enormous pride in saluting Sergeant Uday Singh for his noble stance to make the world safer, his sense of honour and commitment and his loyal and faithful service to our country." Playing glowing tributes to "a brother in arms and India's son", the US general said: "Today, two great democratic nations pause and mourn the loss of this courageous young man who chose the life of a soldier. "In so doing, he knew fully well that he could be called upon to place his life on the line in order to give people, who have only known tyranny and despair, a chance to be free and to control their own destiny." Campbell said in Uday's loss the world was reminded once again that freedom was not free and it was paid for in blood, sweat, tears and in the lives "of our most treasured resources - our sons and daughters in uniform". Praising the rich military tradition of the Singh family, he described Uday as an extraordinary soldier like his father. "Poised, professional, dedicated to both his missions and to his fellow soldiers, previously decorated for his services in Kuwait, he also was a magnificent role model and a standard setter for his entire company." Campbell said the motto of the first infantry division was - "no mission too difficult. No sacrifice too great - duty first". And Uday epitomised that spirit. The US general left after spending about two hours in the Singh household, which was cordoned off by the police for security reasons. Other than Campbell and the US soldiers, several officials from the US embassy in New Delhi were present. They included Deputy Chief of US Mission Walter North and US Defence Attaché Steven Sboto. Uday's ashes would be flown to Arlington National Cemetery near Washington where the US Army wanted to bury his body. Uday passed his Class 12 examinations from this city's St. Stephen's School in 2000 and headed straight for the US to enlist in the army. He was killed in Habbaniyah in Iraq on December 1, 2003, while serving as a gunner in the US forces - which he had joined only three years ago much against his mother's wishes. He was the first Indian in the US Army to have been killed in Iraq.
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SGTObvious    RE:Story of a migrant: America's soldier, India's son   12/11/2003 11:34:42 AM
That is without a doubt the most touching story I have read here in a long time.
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capitalist72    RE:Story of a migrant: America's soldier, India's son   12/11/2003 3:07:17 PM
Uday is the first casualty of Indian origin, and hopefully (but not realistically) the last non-terrorist casualty, but I was pleased to note that there are a number of Indian-origin immigrants serving in the US-armed forces. There is a US-Indian newspaper called India Abroad which ran a series some time back on several Indians serving in the US forces in a variety of capacities.
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Sikman    RE:Story of a migrant: America's soldier, India's son   12/11/2003 6:29:08 PM
Indians are great people. Actually all non-Islamic immigrants or even those who are proven moderates should be allowed into this country free of restriction. Of course I do wonder if the southwestern United States becomes 80%+ hispanic. Will they ever seek to become their own sovereign state?
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Roman    RE:Story of a migrant: America's soldier, India's son   12/11/2003 6:38:47 PM
I am not a U.S. citizen nor am I an immigrant nor do I live in the U.S. so your immigration policies are really non of my business. Still, I can give you my advice and opinion and would like to caution you that you are playing around with the possible future break-up of your great country. Immigration is fine, as long as it is slow enough that new immigrants have time to assimilate, but that is patently not the case in the U.S. at the moment. It may well be that the south of your country in 30 years will attempt to split and join Mexico or form an independent nation. As I said, none of my business, but I thought I would mention it anyway - I mean well.
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SGTObvious    Hispanic America, Sikman   12/11/2003 6:58:43 PM
Don't worry. Despite the noise you hear from a few groups, Hispanics have realized something: They do not need to "withdraw" from a small part. They are fusing, becoming mainstream. Baseball is largely Hispanic. US food companies sell more Salsa than Ketchup. Daisy Fuentes is, well, Daisy Fuentes. I wish I could show you 138th Street in the Bronx- it is so Hispanic, even the signs that say "Shopping District" are in Spanish, (Distrito de Comprar de Calle 138!) but EVERY Dominican flag is paired with the Stars and Stripes. Hispanic is part of the US culture- it is why the Canadians seem different. (They don't have the Hot Latin Blood!) Bear in mind, the whole Cowboy culture of the Southwest is Spanish in origin. Lasso, Rodeo, Bronco and even Cowboy (A corruption of Caballero, "Horseman") are Spanish words! The US is the world's largest producer of Spanish Language media content. So we are already a Hispanic country. Enjoy it. Learn to love it. Have an empañada. By 2050, they will replace the Hot Dog as the "All American convenience food". Remember, once upon a time, the Hot Dog came from an immigrant culture too.
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SGTObvious    A question for you, cap72   12/11/2003 7:02:55 PM
The story reminded me a bit of the loss of the Indian-American astronaut on the space shuttle. What effect do these kind of shared tragedies have on Indian feelings about the US?
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capitalist72    RE:A question for you, cap72   12/12/2003 12:43:09 PM
Sgt., I guess there is a positive side to shared grief, in that the aggrieved parties feel bonded together for a moment. But there's the important human angle that is often missed when we discuss US-India state relations in terms of "national interest," "strategic imperatives," etc...and that is that there is a sizeable (and growing in size and influence) segment of the US population of Indian origin who have real familial and cultural ties to India. That's a real, physical, emotional, material, familial link between the two countries. These people show Indians in India what is so great about the US, that a young girl like Kalpana Chawla from small-town Punjab can pursue her dreams and become an astronaut, and that a son pays the highest price to serve his country in the same way his father would have done so for the Indian army, or that a young engineer with nothing but a keen mind and passion can develop pathbreaking technology. There is no glass ceiling in the US - unlike any other country in the world (Canada, UK, India, etc..). All you need is the will, the talent, and the hard work to achieve whatever you want to - the most unparalleled environment in the world for the individual pursuit of excellence in any field of choice. That's from an Indian perspective. What's interesting is that both Kalpana Chawla and Uday Singh are born in India. I hope that their (and countless others) deeds when alive and their sacrifices show the true nature of Indian culture and heritage to the American people, and why a long term partnership between these two democratic nations makes sense - we see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. India is slowly becoming what Indian-Americans already are. Their success for America means that India's future is bright.
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Sikman    RE:Nos Quiro Taco Bell   12/12/2003 1:28:42 PM
Hey I wouldn't go that far sarge. I find the Hispanic migration similar to that of the Italian one at the turn of the 20th century. As long as they assimilate it is fine with me, u know the whole e plurabus unum concept. Yea well Canada is too Islamic for my tastes, hell there even setting up Islamic courts as an alternative to Canadian civil law, I sh*t you not. Imagine what kinda crap thats gonna stir up.
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capitalist72    RE:Nos Quiro Taco Bell   12/12/2003 1:45:10 PM
"hell there even setting up Islamic courts as an alternative to Canadian civil law," You must be kidding? Do you have any reference to point me to? I just moved to Canada - I'm concerned!
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swhitebull    RE:Nos Quiro Taco Bell   12/12/2003 5:42:16 PM
Here you go- Canadian courts moving to enforce Shariya: swhitebull
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