Saturday, February 23, 2008

Happy Holiday, Defenders of the Fatherland!

Today is a big holiday in Russia. Earlier called Red Army Day, now it's the Day of the Defenders of the Fatherland. The holiday has evolved into a Men's Day of sorts, on which to congratulate men of all ages including little boys. Even if all they're defending is their toys.

Appropriate gifts include cologne, chocolates and even flowers. Today vendors on the street were selling tulips especially for the holiday. I wanted the little boys at the orphange to feel honored, so took several big chocolate bars that their caretakers will break up into little pieces and share. Cards are always a hit. Below are several from the local post office.

23rd of February. . . (Congratulations). . .On the Day of the Defenders of the Fatherland.

(Congratulations). . . on the Holiday.

23 of February. . .You chose a difficult task, to be a defender of the nation. May courage suffice and the will to serve Russia with dignity.


John from Kansas said...

A toast to the veterans!

Eileen said...

Absolutely! A toast - with jam! They were heroic! (at least while they stayed in their homeland!) ;) E

Anonymous said...

For more than fifty years I've been fascinated with Red Army veterans of the Second World War. My father was an American veteran of that conflict; my cousin a member of the German Luftwaffe. Seventeen of my direct relatives wore uniform during the period. I deeply worry about our world when I daily witness the passing of these men and women in my newspaper's obituary column. In my childhood they were ubiquitous, such folk--they were my schoolteachers, my barbers, my dentists, my coaches. Now their ranks are growing painfully thin throughout the nations, and to meet one on a local streetcorner on any given day is a treat--though somehow like encountering a ghost, for me. I dread the day they're gone. Born just after the war, and thus too young to remember it or participate in it, the conflict has nonetheless impacted my life in a way in which no other human event could. Thanks for sharing this story, Eileen. Very much appreciated!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

It is too bad such a day is so generalized. It should focus on the great defenders of the fatherland who defeated the Nazis at Stalingrad. The Russians really won WWII by weakening the German army. In the West, the latecomers to the war, the Americans claim the victory.