Thursday, May 08, 2008

May 9th: Russia's Day of Victory

Across Russia today, were morning parades and evening fireworks to celebrate the end of World War II, which ended 60-some years ago this week. The Soviet Union paid the highest price of any country for that war. Estimates vary, but twenty-three million - or as high as 30 million - were killed and every family was affected. Nearly 14% of the population perished, including civilian and military deaths.

Here was the view this morning from Red Square, a vast area the size of 12 football fields.

Care to join me for a look at parade photos? These are from the Victory Day parade several years ago in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.

At the start of the parade, several veterans were in cars. Maybe they're VIP veterans of some sort. . .

These veterans went off to war in the early 1940s, when they were but kids.

A young lady darts into the parade to present lilacs to a veteran.

This highly decorated veteran is confined to a wheelchair.

The veteran attended the parade together with his grandson.

Three military officers kindly posed for a photograph. Now, regarding the officer on the left, although arms and appear to be growing from his skull, he really is not suffering from any bizarre physical deformity. It happens that behind him is a poster of Mother Russia Calls, a magnificant statue in Volgograd. At 56 yards high, that monument rather dwarfs the Statue of Liberty which is 49 yards high, excluding pedestal and foundation.

Congratulations to Russia on surviving World War II. Here's wishing all the best for the veterans. May their senior years be comfortable and peaceful. And here's wishing all the best for good people of that vast land.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great photos. It appears as if at least two of these veterans bear the Order of Lenin, while another may be a Hero of the Soviet Union. At any rate, I probably need to brush up on my knowledge of Soviet WWII military decorations. Having survived the 1,000-or so mile push from Moscow's snowy western outskirts to the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, these men (and women) fully deserve those many commendations. The degree of suffering seen inside the Soviet Union 63-67 years ago is unmatched in world history. Sadly, we only learn to avoid such wars by thoroughly studying their horrendous effects, and today too few among newer generations have likely heard of the Great Patriotic War.