Hats off to you, veterans!
After the wreath-laying ceremony in Pobedy Square on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, enthusiastically talked to war veterans
Great Patriotic War veterans: Maria Perevozchikova and Lidia Volkova
Mr. Lukashenko congratulated the veterans on Victory Day. “Thank you for everything,” he said. He also talked to representatives of the diplomatic corps, who were present during the ceremony, and congratulated them.
The Head of State also took part in festivities on the occasion and laid a wreath at the Victory Monument in Minsk. Wreaths were also laid on behalf of central government agencies, the National Assembly, courts, the Security Council and the Armed Forces of Belarus, as well as on behalf of law enforcement agencies, the Belarusian Public Association of War Veterans and other public associations, the Minsk Regional Executive Committee and the Minsk City Executive Committee, the CIS Executive Committee, the diplomatic corps, the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
On the festive day
Participants of the ceremony honoured the memory of countless victims of the Great Patriotic War with a minute of silence. Six volleys of artillery salute were fired in Pobedy Square. After that, a composite company and the orchestra of the guard of honour of the military commandant’s office of the Belarusian Armed Forces marched past those present.
Time can’t dim the value of heroic deed
The years are taking their toll and many veterans have already celebrated their 90th birthdays but still, like true heroes, keep their spirits up and don’t lose their moral courage and vivacity. Old age is no obstacle to gathering together on the occasion of Victory Day.
During the wreath-laying ceremony at the Victory Monument
As is traditional, Pobedy Square became the centre of the festivities, with the President taking part in the Belarus Remembers event. From early morning, a touching picture could be seen on the approaches to the square: young people — schoolchildren and students — arrived to see the veterans, smiling and presenting them with flowers. They thanked them for the Victory, for the opportunity to live and study in a free and peaceful country. The veterans were clearly moved…
We’re in debt to all those who sacrificed their lives for Victory. The white-haired veterans are shy of stories about their military deeds; their orders and medals speak instead…
A flower of victory to a Great Patriotic War veteran
The spirit of Victory, however, can’t be hidden behind modesty and soon the cry went up: ‘Let’s remember your military songs!’ The veterans’ choir immediately caught up the message and broke into ‘Katyusha’ and ‘Let’s Sing, Friends’… The residents and guests of Minsk, as well as representatives of youth and public organisations thronged towards Pobedy Square from the neighbouring streets, with many holding the portraits of soldiers. There is hardly a single family in Belarus unaffected by the Great Patriotic War. Perhaps this continuity of generations and the preservation of historical memory is the basis for peace and stability in the country. This was emphasised by Alexander Lukashenko while chatting to the veterans. On behalf of the whole grateful nation, the Commander-in-Chief spoke kind words to the soldiers: ‘Thank you for everything…’
Alas, Belarus has fewer and fewer living witnesses of the Great Patriotic War with each new year, so it’s even more precious to talk to them and even more important to preserve the memories of their heroic deeds and to resist any attempts to distort history. Their Victory is our Victory.
Photo: Artur Prupas, BelTA