The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, arrived in Washington DC on Monday afternoon. He laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the Arlington Cemetery.
He also laid a wreath at the Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial. Mr. Jean Pierre Harrison, husband of Astronaut Kalpana Chawla - who perished in the Columbia tragedy - was present. Astronaut Sunita Williams was also among those who were present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister attended a ceremony for the return of idols to India. The US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that the process had begun for returning as many as 200 artefacts to India, with 12 having been returned so far. Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that heritage can be a great binding force between nations. He said that for some, the value of these artefacts may be measured in monetary terms, but for us in India, their value is beyond that, because they are part of our culture and heritage.
The Prime Minister had an interaction with thinktanks which included the Brookings Institution, the Atlantic Council, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, among others.