Army and politicians profoundly commemorated the anniversary of 75 years since the end of the war at Vítkov
Last year there were hundreds of people, a military parade and music. This year, there were only top officials of the state, army, Church and veteran service organizations. That is what the ceremonial commemoration of the end of the World War II looked like in the area of the National Monument at Vítkov. Due to the Coronavirus epidemic, the piousness was special.
The President of the Czech Republic and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Miloš Zeman was the first to arrive at Vítkov in Prague. Shortly after half past eleven he honoured the memory of the fallen heroes by laying a wreath and a minute of silence at the grave of an unknown soldier at the Court of Honour of the National Monument.
At the intervals of ten minutes, the top officials of the state and other organisations took turns at the act of piety. The President was followed by the President of the Senate Miloš Vystrčil, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Radek Vondráček, the Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, the Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar along with the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Aleš Opata, the Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib, the Archbishop of Prague and the Primate Czech Cardinal Dominik Duka, the Mayor of the Czech Sokol Community Hana Moučková, the Chairman of the Czechoslovak Legionnaire Community Pavel Budinský and the Chairman of the Czech Freedom Fighters´ Union Jaroslav Vodička.
Let´s invest into the modernisation of the Czech Army, asked the Minister of Defence
“The worst war conflict, which must never happen again, ended 75 years ago. Our soldiers and representatives of the local resistance also played an important role in the fight against fascism and it cost lives of many of them. We must not forget their bravery and courage,” emphasized the Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar.
He recalled that the Army had been helping in a number of places in connection with the Coronavirus epidemic. Along with the health workers, policemen, firefighters, there are also three and a half thousand soldiers in the front line. “I am very grateful to them for their courage and determination, as well as to our citizens for cohesion and solidarity,” emphasized Metnar.
Even in times of crisis the security of the army should not be forgotten according to him: “The Czech Republic has great soldiers and it is our duty, as politicians, to provide them with modern technology and equipment. As the World WAR II showed: only a well-trained and well-armed force can fight and defend well.” According to Metnar, the scenario of previous crises, when the Czech Army helped where it was needed and still it was the first in line regarding the budget cuts, cannot repeat again.
Memory of the fallen soldiers in the World WAR II and victims of all wars
The Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar along with the Deputy Chief of the General Staff – Inspector of the Czech Armed Forces, Major General Milan Schulc, took part in the reverential memory at the Olšany Cemetery in Prague.
At the Commonwealth military graveyard, the participants of the reverential memory laid wreaths to the monument of soldiers who had fought under the command of the Great Britain and had fallen on the territory of the former Czechoslovakia. Afterwards, they honoured the heroes of World WAR II in the graveyards of the Soviet Army, Bulgaria, Prague barricaders and RAF pilots.