In the 90s, for me, then a teenager, May 9 was not a significant holiday. Rather, the day was associated with military songs performed by two well-known Russian singers … When our daughter was 3 years old, offering flowers at the Eternal Flame became one of our family traditions. Last year, from the historians of Kirov (a city in Russia), a letter came with a story about the heroic deed of my great-grandfather at the beginning of the war. So many people were there in those years learning about the life of who I myself want to become better, nobler!
The words of V.G.Belinsky, Russian literary critic 1811-1848, are the following: “Whoever does not belong to the fatherland, does not belong to humanity” which reflects the whole essence of the concept of “love to the motherland”. Or one more saying: “Patriotism is very important. If you have no feeling for your country, you cannot do anything good. Any kind of sacrifice is not sufficient to satisfy that desire to do something for your country and countrymen”. (N. Shrivastava, 1995 ) …
But for the generation of the 90’s – a generation with lost values, it is difficult to develop values, including patriotic values, from “nowhere”. And the idea of the Immortal Regiment is immense – it’s an idea that reflects both love for the homeland, and collectivity, and unity (and in the mind the memory of the feeling, even if it appeared only for a few hours, remains). And here is a confirmation:
The government of Latvia this year banned the Immortal Regiment fearing that this unites Russians on the territory too much. But the government of Finland (a country that at the beginning of the Second World War fought against Soviet soldiers), on the contrary, approved the idea of the Immortal Regiment, for the first time, by the way. The participants of the Finnish procession explained: “This measure is not against Finland or the Finns, on the contrary, we do this together with the Finns, and this is a gesture of peace and reconciliation.” We invite the Finns to support our procession, and although our ancestors fought against each other, there should not be any repetition of this monstrous error. It may be time to drop weapons and together remember our grandfathers who sacrificed their lives for the sake of a better future for their children!”
We participated in the procession of the Immortal Regiment in Togliatti for the first time. I did not expect that the regiment (one of the two (!) taking place that day in different districts) will consist of approximately … 20,000+ people (this is many times more than last year). When at the end of the procession we stood in one place, people with portraits of their relatives-participants of the war were walking and walking by … they were walking 15 minutes, 20 …
Throughout Russia, to be more exact, throughout the world, the number of the participants of the Immortal Regiment increases every year. And it unites not only Russians with Russians but all of us – citizens of this world … those who are against fascism. As if soldiers who passed away half a century ago are rising again to oppose the false ideas in different countries.