Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday laid a wreath at the Tomb of Unknowns and paid homage to Indian-American astronaut, the late Kalpana Chawla, at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, United States.
He also had a brief interaction with the husband and family members of Chawla, senior officials from NASA, Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams and her father at the Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial.
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter accompanied the Prime Minister. Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, US Ambassador to India Richard Verma and Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Nisha Desai Biswal, were also present on the occasion.
All of us are very honoured that he took time to come and acknowledge the shuttle catastrophe and the deep cooperation that we have with India in the space world. Personally it is commemorating my friend (Kalpana Chawla).Sunita Williams
Modi spoke to Sunita’s father in Gujarati and invited them to visit India.
“With health permitting, I definitely look forward to visiting India,” her father said.
Chawla’s husband Jean-Pierre Harrison presented a set of books on the late astronaut, including a biography written by him, to the Prime Minister.
The Tomb of the Unknowns is a monument dedicated to American service members who have died without their remains being identified.
(With agency inputs.)
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)