Penza holds “Memory Vigil” relay event
Penza, 7 May 2016. PenzaNews. Around 80 people, including five wheelchair users, took part in the relay event “Memory Vigil” dedicated to the 71st anniversary of the Great Victory, held in Penza on Saturday, May 7.
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The front of the relay column was formed by the EMERCOM cadets, who were carrying the Banner of Victory. They were followed by the wheelchair users, who often encountered issues with navigating around the potholes on the road, as well as students of local universities and colleges, and regular citizens.
According to Alexander Kazakov, member of the Penza region gubernatorial council on the disabled, the event attracted relatively few participants because it had been rescheduled.
“We want to pass further this relay of memory. We received it from Vladimir Kerkhanadzhev [veteran of the Battle for Stalingrad and the Battle of Kursk, chairman of the city council of veterans], and are passing it to our sons and children. I want us to be remembered as well. Falsifying the history is unacceptable. It must not be rewritten. It was us who achieved the victory,” Alexander Kazakov said.
The relay moved from the Steam Train monument to the Penza Military and Labor Valor Monument for the official public rally.
In his address to the audience, Vladimir Kerkhanadzhev reminded that Penza now has only 600 veterans of the Great Patriotic War (the Eastern Front of the Second World War) who are still alive.
“You, the new generation, are the descendants of the victors. And you, children, must cherish this high title throughout all your lives and pass these feelings to your children and grandchildren. I wish you to never ever encounter what your great-grandfathers, grandfathers and even parents had had to live through,” he said, also wishing them to live long lives.
Following that, the people honored the legacy of the fallen soldiers of the Great Patriotic War with a moment of silence, and laid flowers to the monument.
After the official event, the relay activists enjoyed free meals cooked in a field kitchen.