Bikram Vohra paying tributes to the 22 fallen UAE soldiers during their duty in Yemen
It is a dark day. More than that, it is a day when we salute those who give up their todays so we can have our tomorrows.
Here, in the Emirates, there is a pall of gloom, a sense of how could this be?
Soldiers who stand tall have given up their lives for their country. As someone who has lived in the UAE for 30 years and been privileged to work in its media the loss of 45 young men in the Yemen blast is a matter of profound sadness.
One can only silently understand the mix of grief and pride that comes with these losses of life.
These men volunteered to serve their country without reservation. They took their orders without question, they never asked the reasons, they did what was demanded of them.
We expats today try to share that grief with our Emirati brethren. We do it by joining them in that final salute, in expressing gratitude beyond the horizon for that sacrifice and telling them that we, too, feel that great loss because it is also ours. And much as we exult in the joy of living in the UAE we equally must be part of the sadness and the shock and the disbelief that comes with such deeply disturbing news.
It is never easy to lose young sons and husbands and brothers in battle. Never. I sit here writing this piece and tears prick my eyes. Tears for the Fearless 45 and my friends and relatives over the years that have lived their lives in uniform and given their all for us civilians.
The Last Post will play for these officers and gentlemen to the core and we will stand in bowed silence and yet stand tall.
We will say goodbye to the best of our ability and say to their families; thank you for these special men that you gave to your country. To paraphrase an ode to soldiers from history:
To Every man Upon This Earth
Death comes soon or late
And how can Man die better
Than facing mighty odds
For the memory of his fathers
And the honour of his God.