President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday paid tribute to the soldiers who laid out their lives for the country at the National War Memorial near India Gate in New Delhi on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day.

The President was received at the memorial by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.

Earlier, the Prime Minister hoisted the national flag and subsequently delivered the customary address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

The Independence Day function at the Red Fort was relatively muted this year in terms of participation of people in view of COVID-19 crisis. Compared to the past years, only about 20 per cent VVIPs or other participants witnessed the Prime Minister’s speech.

The arrangements were made keeping the social distancing norms in mind.

The National War Memorial, which was inaugurated in February last year by PM Modi, has been built in memory of the soldiers who laid down their lives for the country post-independence. (ANI)