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USA Marine Uday Singh: First Sikh To Die In Battle Of Iraq As US Soldier

spnadmin

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Jun 17, 2004
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Forwarded by SPN mentor Gyani Jarnail Singh "Arshi"


NRI Uday Singh was the first Sikh to die in battle of Iraq as a U.S. soldier

His headstone displays the first Khanda to appear as an official emblem of belief for government headstones and markers



Arlington, Virginia, July 07, 2004

On June 3, 2004, the official letter of approval cameonly five months after the burial ceremony took place at the Arlington National Cemetery. At the burial ceremony, a Liaison Officer asked the family about selecting a religious symbol for the headstone. Because the Khanda was not an approved symbol at the time, the family asked Gurdarshan Singh, a local granthee who performed the last rights, to write an official letter to request a Khanda.Uday’s father, Preet Mahinder Singh, received word from the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) that it could not be done after ten days.

Uday Singh, 21, was killed on December 1, 2003, in Habbaniyah, Iraq. He died of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his patrol. It was a single bullet that found its way into Uday Singh’s head, just missing his helmet

“It was fate,” says his grieving father. “He was my only son.” Uday Singh never wanted to come to America. He was quite happy living a life of luxury in Chandigarh, India, says his father. “But I wanted him to do something meaningful.” They considered going abroad and settled on Lake Forest, Illinois, where his aunt, Harpreet Datt, lived. After finishing high school, Uday Singh came to Lake Forest with his father in 2000. “We got out of the airport and there was a sign posted to join the military,” recalls his father. And that is what Uday Singh did.

Preet Mahinder Singh came to the U.S. a couple of weeks later to finish his son’s affairs and to visit him at the cemetery. “It is a great thing for our community. Back home, we don’t bother about these things. Here, there is more attachment to our roots,” he says. Preet Mahinder says the Sikh community was very supportive and helpful in his time of need.

When Preet Mahinder Singh and his only daughter, Bani, came to pay their respects. They kneeled down on the green grass and stroked, with love and tears, the only crisp white headstone adorned with a majestic Khanda at Arlington National Cemetery.
 

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Mai Harinder Kaur

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I read this story and look at these pictures with all sorts of mixed feelings.

My sweet brother Uday Singh died a useless, unnecessary death in a war fought because of a lie about WMDs. Still, he was a brave man who died honourably in battle. If I were his mother, how would I reconcile those two truths?

And his hair...Since turbans were banned in the US Military during the Reagan Administration, no keshdhari Sikh was allowed in until an exception was made and then another, and then a third in the last couple years. A fight is on now to allow turbans as a matter of course rather than on a case-by-case exception. This is all too late for this young man. If he was to serve, he had to conform to the military requirement.

Then I look at the "crisp white headstone adorned with a majestic Khanda" and, as much as I deplore what the US is doing in its numerous foreign, er, adventures, I cannot suppress a thrill of pride as I look it. In that huge cemetary, along with crosses and stars of David and the crescent and moon - I'm not sure if the Wiccan symbol was approved - there is now a Khanda.

Uday Singh ji, wherever you are, thank you.

animatedkhanda1
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
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Jul 4, 2004
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Mai Ji,
WARS are always "useless".....which war was USEFUL ?? War has always been used to conquer...dominate.....show whos BOSS !! A War in DEFENCE may be a lesser evil..but its still an evil of sorts...blood is shed...wives becoem widows..mothers lose sons, sons lose fathers, fathers lose sons, sisters lose brothers...a LOSS somewhere..

BUT I AM Very very Proud of UDAY SINGH..and the action of his in the Khalsa Tradtion of serving ( with your life if it comes down to that ) the COUNTRY we ADOPT as our OWN. And YES I feel very proud to see that KHANDA...Sava lakh se ek !!

UDAY SINGH..I salute YOU.
Jarnail Singh
 

kds1980

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Apr 4, 2005
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INDIA
WARS are always "useless".....which war was USEFUL ?? War has always been used to conquer...dominate.....show whos BOSS !! A War in DEFENCE may be a lesser evil..but its still an evil of sorts...blood is shed...wives becoem widows..mothers lose sons, sons lose fathers, fathers lose sons, sisters lose brothers...a LOSS somewhere..
Really, even still today whites all over the world are reaping the benefits of war which Europeans waged against many countries.Imagine if Whites never invaded other continents then today Europe will be like some India with over 1 billion population and hardly any resources

An average american may be against the war but he/she will not hesistate to reap benefit of Cheap oil which he/she will get from middle east
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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Gyani ji, you say


WARS are always "useless".....which war was USEFUL ?? War has always been used to conquer...dominate.....show whos BOSS !! A War in DEFENCE may be a lesser evil..but its still an evil of sorts...blood is shed...wives becoem widows..mothers lose sons, sons lose fathers, fathers lose sons, sisters lose brothers...a LOSS somewhere..

Yes, if we were truly civilised, war would disappear. Killing, however justifiable, is still evil. Mass killing is possibly worse. However, I believe that some wars must be fought. Hitler had to be stopped, for example. When the world does not step in - with necessary force - we get results such as Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Were the Mau-Mau right to fight the British in Kenya? When is it really righteous to draw the sword? It's a balancing game, as many moral issues are.

I would also point out that there are women soldiers. Mothers and fathers lose daughters as well as sons, brothers lose sisters, children lose mothers and so on. Does this mean war is even worse than it used to be? Is this a success or a failure of the women's movement? I do not have answers.

Anyway, that is all beyond the point of this discussion. This dear young brother fought in the best tradition of the Sikh people and he did us all proud, whether the cause was just or not. AND now there is a khanda in Arlington.

animatedkhanda1
 

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