Friday, June 10, 2011

I still remember M F Hussain---Dr. H S Bedi

Husain painting in Dr Bedi's office in CMC
Maqbool Fida Husain was a very lively and active person and truly young at heart. These were the observations of Dr Harinder Singh Bedi – Head of Cardio Vascular & Thoracic Surgery at the Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana – who had operated upon Mr Husain for bypass surgery when he was a Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at the Escorts Heart Institute in New Delhi in 1989.
Dr Bedi still remembers Mr Husain making a remarkable recovery. He was then 74 years old but even then had a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his walk. Those days we were doing bypass surgery with the heart lung machine – said Dr Bedi (beating heart surgery developed later – and Dr Bedi has been a world leader in the beating heart technique - with his name in the Limca Book of World Records for the Worlds  first multivessel beating heart series with angiograms published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery USA) . Dr Bedi remembers that in spite of having used a heart lung machine and having stopped his heart for over 45 minutes to do the triple bypass – Mr Husain was up and about in 2 days. He was shifted to the VIP room on the 3rd Floor. At rounds on the 4th day he asked Dr Bedi to give him his letterhead and next day gave him a beautiful sketch. It was of Mother Teresa tending to two children.. It was this is still with Dr Bedi and is a prize possession in his office. Dr Bedi remembered that he joked with all the doctors and nurses and was a really model patient.  In fact he offered his help in counseling the other patient’s pre and post op while he was there. Dr Bedi felt that he was fortunate to have met such a lovely and talented personality and was sad that he was no more. --Shalu Arora and Rector Kathuria

Paratroopers Commemorate D-Day Anniversary

By Donna Miles 
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 6, 2011 - About 300 U.S. soldiers, most of them combat veterans themselves, joined their British, French and German counterparts in Normandy, France, to honor the sacrifices of World War II veterans who conducted the D-Day invasion 67 years ago today.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Keith Nightengale, a retired Army colonel, talks to paratroopers with the Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command task force participating in activities commemorating the 67th anniversary of Operation Overlord — the D-Day landings -- while in Normandy, France, June 1, 2011. U.S. Army photo 
The troops spent the last few days visiting key battle sites during the mission code-named Operation Overlord: the beaches 160,000 troops stormed on June 6, 1944, during the largest amphibious invasion in world history; and St. Mere Eglis, the first French village to be liberated by U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne Division soldiers, among them.
Throughout the visit, where they received briefings about the history of the sites and got a firsthand look at the tactical challenges Allied forces faced, the troops participated in D-Day commemorative ceremonies and met veterans of the invasion.
Today, they took part in ceremonies at Ponte du Hoc, the formidable cliff-top perch west of Omaha Beach that U.S. Rangers assaulted; and Utah Beach, the westernmost of the five D-Day landing beaches.
"Getting the chance to be here has been an amazing opportunity," Army Capt. Ted Jacobs, executive officer for the Army Reserve's 345th Tactical Psychological Operations Company in Dallas said by phone as he waited for the Utah Beach ceremony to begin. "Seeing what these veterans had to go up against -- the terrain, the weather situation, ... the wet, the cold, being in fear of their lives all the time -- it really does help you understand the challenges they had to deal with."
Jacobs is among about 150 Army Reserve paratroopers with the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command, with headquarters at Fort Bragg, N.C., participating in Operation Airborne Normandy, a mission that is bringing together U.S. and European forces for commemorations and interoperability training.
Other U.S. participants include active-duty soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg; 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team at Vicenza, Italy; 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky.; and riggers from the Army Reserve's 824th, 421st and 861st Quartermaster Companies and U.S. Army Europe's 5th Quartermaster Detachment.
One planned event, a combined jump involving more than 700 U.S., British, German and French paratroopers, has been canceled twice due to bad weather. Participants are hoping the event may take place tomorrow, conditions permitting, to enable every paratrooper who jumps with another country's jumpmaster to receive that country's jump wings.
Meanwhile, the soldiers called the chance to meet with veterans of the D-Day invasion the highlight of the visit.
"I feel honored to have the opportunity to come out here and meet them face to face and shake their hands and say thank you," said Army Sgt. Nathaniel Bier, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom serving with the 301st Psychological Operations Company from San Diego. "That is one of the best things I will always remember about this trip."
With two combat deployments in Afghanistan under his belt, Jacobs said, he gained a new appreciation for the odds the Allied forces -- including his own father -- faced during Operation Overlord.
Then-Sgt. Thomas Jacobs jumped into Normandy during the D-Day invasion, but has spoken little of the experience except to describe it as "godawful" until recent years. "We grew up basically with the understanding that we didn't ask questions about that," his son said. "He was one of those veterans who just wanted to forget."
Bier shares Jacobs' personal connection to the D-Day visit: his great-grandfather, who died before Bier was born, took part in the invasion. "My father really looked up to him," Bier said of his great-grandfather. "So he was even more excited to hear that I was coming here than I was."
Walking the beaches, seeing the formidable terrain and standing the ground his great-grandfather helped to liberate has given Bier a special appreciation of the magnitude of what happened in Normandy. Pausing to reflect on it, he admitted, "I had to stop myself from tearing up, because it's so powerful just to be here."
Bier said he's been particularly struck by the courageous leadership the D-Day noncommissioned officers demonstrated in the face of adversity.
"I don't know how some of those sergeants kept going, how they kept their people motivated as they were coming off the boats, and how they kept them moving forward," he said. "My hat is really off to those sergeants."
Jacobs said he, too, stands in awe of what the D-Day veterans accomplished, and declined to compare it with anything he has experienced in combat.
"I wouldn't even dare to hold a candle to what those guys did," he said. "Certainly, what we are doing in Afghanistan is at times very difficult and dangerous. But what these guys went through, there is no comparison. Ours is a counterterrorism fight, so there are brief moments of intensity, but nothing to even come close to the scale of events that happened here."
Walking the hallowed grounds where many made the ultimate sacrifice "has given me a deeper appreciation for the legacy that has been left to us by the greatest generation by these soldiers who came over here and did what they did," Jacobs said. "It further solidifies the fact that I do not ever want to betray that kind of legacy, and want to continue to build it and maintain what they have carved out for us."
A high school math teacher in the Dallas public schools in his civilian life, Jacobs said he intends to share the experiences he's gained at Normandy, like those from Afghanistan, with his students.
"All these values from the military are just common core good-citizenship skills and behaviors that these children desperately need, particularly those from the inner city," he said. "So I incorporate everything I can from my experience in the military: what it means to serve instead of always looking out for yourself or putting yourself first, [and] thinking about putting others before yourself and service to the community and country," he said. "That is just a core theme in my classroom."
Related Sites:
U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) 

Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Maj. Gen. Jim Huggins, commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division, and a French city official present a floral arrangement at a World War II memorial to honor fallen troops during a commemoration ceremony June 3, 2011, in Montebourg, France. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod
Download screen-resolution
Download high-resolution
Click photo for screen-resolution imageA World War II veteran and former paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division salutes the U.S. flag during a memorial ceremony held June 4, 2011, to honor his fallen comrades who died liberating Angoville au Plain, France, and surrounding areas following the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944. Residents of Angoville hold the memorial ceremony every year. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod
Download screen-resolution
Download high-resolution
Click photo for screen-resolution imageWorld War II veteran Fred Morgan, who jumped into Normandy as a paratrooper medic with the 82nd Airborne Division during the Allied invasion of France in 1944, embraces the current commanding general of the division, Maj. Gen. Jim Huggins, June 5, 2011, at La Fiere, France. Morgan and another veteran medic were present for the dedication of a memorial plaque to Allied medics. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod
Download screen-resolution
Download high-resolution
Click photo for screen-resolution imageZane Schlemmer, a veteran Army paratrooper who jumped into northern France in 1944 as a sergeant with the 82nd Airborne Division, walks in his jump boots down the main street of Sainte Mere Eglise with other World War II veterans during the 67th anniversary of the Allied invasion of France, June 5, 2011. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod
Download screen-resolution
Download high-resolution