May 9th. Victory Day

Russians and other nations of the former Soviet Union, celebrate Victory Day today, May 9th.

Since the Soviet Union was to the east of Germany, it was May 9 Moscow Time when the German military surrender became effective, which is why Russia and most of the former Soviet republics commemorate Victory Day on 9 May instead of 8 May. (From the Wikipedia’s article Victory in Europe Day).

It’s a day to remember those, who never lived to see the end of the WWII.  Between 26.6 and 38.5 million people perished. It’s impossible to find a family there that wasn’t touched by the war in one or another cruel, inhumane and profound way.

Non-Russian press hardly noticed or mentioned it. I was saddened and disheartened by the tone of some articles I came across.

The emphasis of otherwise scarce coverage in the US and the UK was oddly slanted and warped. Instead of joining Russians in their joy, commiseration and the remembrance of the heroism of those who fought, suffered, died and won 68 years ago, there are either petty politicizing of the Huffington Post, Victory Day: Russia Flexes Military Muscle During WWII Celebration, reprinted from Agence France Presse,  or mocking of the high kicking ceremonial step of the military parade of the Washington Post, Putin celebrates Russia’s Victory Day. Read them, will you? Am I overly sensitive and imagining things?

SERGEI ILNITSKY/EPA.  A high kicking Russian military serviceman leads his regiment as they march during Victory Day parade in Moscow  on May 9  2013

SERGEI ILNITSKY/EPA. A high kicking Russian military serviceman leads his regiment as they march during Victory Day parade in Moscow on May 9 2013

The article in The Guardian  Victory Day celebrations – in pictures had just that – a picture gallery of 20 images and no verbiage. It turn out to be a poignant selection, all right, particularly the images of veterans. There are not many of them left in Russia and in the world. Next year and the year after the next, their number would be diminished still — most of those people (all of them, to think of it) are octogenarians today… Let’s think The Guardian simply chocked on emotions and couldn’t come up with suitable words…

From The Guardian: A medalled Russian WWII woman veteran accepts flowers

From The Guardian: A medalled Russian WWII woman veteran accepts flowers

Take a look at the picture below. It was taken on May 9th of 1945. Describe this picture.  The war is over. Women are dancing…

It breaks my heart…

May 9th 1945

V-E Day, May 8th, looked a lot merrier… There were men… There were smiles…
VE-Day-newspaper
How many of those who died, and those who lived, victorious, to see May the 8th and the 9th of the Year 1945, hoped that the WWII was the was to end all wars? All of them, I suppose. Ah, well…

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