Byline: Samson Simon Sharaf
Display of a Soldier's Boot in a television show was contempt and sacrilegious. It caused angst and dismay to every soldier who wears or hung his boots after fading away. Most, it was an insult to thousands of soldiers who sacrificed their blood and lives for the country with their boots on and families that endure the hardships of parting with the bread earner. Boots are symbols of grace and should never be used to score angular political points.
The terms like 'Boots On and Boots on Ground' have a significant and well understood connotation. Referring them in political jargon was the first anywhere in the world. Boots are the life string of soldiers. It is an honour for every soldier, anywhere in the world to die with his boots on.
This article is written to let the Pakistani public know the significance of a soldier's military kit to his life, family, death and military traditions. Most importantly; the boots go with him in his last journey.
Three items of military kit are very important and coveted in a soldier's life and military tradition. He never leaves them unguarded. These are the Boots, Personal Weapon and the Steel Helmet. When a soldier falls in the line of duty, the Boots form the foundation through which the blade of the rifle bayonet pierces through the Boot into the ground and the helmet is placed on top. This is the tombstone of a soldier.
Military units prepare a visible reminder of the Shaheed. The helmet and identification tags signify the dead soldier. The inverted rifle with bayonet signals a time for prayers and tribute to the Shaheed. The combat boots represent the final march to the last battle. The helmet reminds that the soldier spent himself in the final plunge. While the weaponry is deposited in barracks, the soldier continues to wear the boots sometimes even when he is sleeping. At home there are kept is a corner, always clean and shiny. They are never discarded when old, torn or worn. They are preserved as a milestone of a soldier's journey most significantly end of life.
In military history, boots were most important as their performance could render a soldier out of battle. Recall the poem in which for the want of a nail in a boot, a country was lost. In every army of the world there are regular boot parades. Boots and socks are inspected, and feet checked for blisters, trench foot and foot rot. Any violation is considered prejudice to good order and military discipline and...