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Saturday, 21 April 2012
Michelle Chaudhry speaks on the life of Cecil Chaudhry (RIP)
Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry laid to rest will full military honours.
I am so touched by the kindness and love expressed by all of you; it has really been a great source of strength and comfort to me and my family at this extremely difficult time.
The four of us stand so proud and fortunate to be the children of such a brave, courageous and illustrious man. My father was bestowed with numerous Honours, from Gallantry Awards to equally high Peace time citations, he also received enormous recognition for his contributions towards the rights of Religious Minorities in Pakistan and in the field of education too, his services are second to none. My Father was a proud, dignified and daring man, who always held his head high and when life presented its worst adversity before him, he took it in his stride and refused bow his head even in the state of extreme pain. He fought cancer; an absolute merciless disease like a brave and courageous warrior right to his last breath.
Our Father was a National Hero, a highly decorated war veteran, a legend of the Pakistan Air Force, a bold and fearless Human Rights Activist, a beacon of light and inspiration for many Pakistanis. His death has been widely mourned - from the President of Pakistan to the man on the street. Catholic schools in Lahore and Rawalpindi / Islamabad were closed today as a mark of respect. A one minute silence was observed at most Christian Institutions across the country and citations were read out at various institutions.
However it was my Father’s first family The Pakistan Air Force that has left us completely overwhelmed. The Chief of Air Staff, senior serving officers and all the Officers at the Lahore base went beyond all expectations to bid farewell to our father and their colleague in an extremely befitting manner.
A funeral ceremony was held at the Lahore Base a “100% percent full uniform attendance” was ordered, the Honor Guards were flown in from Air Head Quarters, he was presented with a Guard of Honor, was carried by the Air Force pall bearers in a coffin wrapped in the flag of Pakistan, a gun salute was given at the cemetery as he was being laid to rest.
Floral wreaths were presented on behalf of the Chief Minister Punjab, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Army Staff, the Naval Chief, The Corps Commander Lahore, The Ministry of Defence and thousands of family, friends and well-wishers from across the world.
He was given a funeral with complete Military Honours, the kind he truly deserved.
We apologize for not being able to thank each one of you individually, your Facebook posts, comments, emails, text messages and telephone calls have left us emotionally overwhelmed. No amount of words can express our gratitude. Thank you ever so much. God bless each one of you abundantly.