Czech Veterans Honoured with a Musical Tribute, Flags and a Library for This Year's Holiday
Although the Czechia is under enormous pressure due to the coronavirus, volunteer organizations helping veterans have stepped up their efforts to support war veterans and honour their memory on November 11. Public reverential events are not allowed so they are moving to the online space. It will be dominated by a musical tribute called “It’s time” (“Je čas”).
The musical ballad “It's time” is dedicated to veterans and everyone who wants to pay their respects to them
The ballad “It's time” was composed, recorded and sung by the composer Tomáš Kympl this summer. His work is known through popular singers (from Jiří Suchý, through Daniel Landa, to Michael Kocáb, etc.), he has twice won The UK Songwriter Contest and his stage, film and spiritual music is gaining popularity abroad. Inspired by the participation of our ancestors in the world wars, he composed a song about the power of friendship and the fighting spirit of Czechoslovak legionaries, which he later dedicated to all veterans through the VLČÍ MÁKY Association.
The Ministry of Defence was the first to join the premiere of the song, you will also hear it on many radio stations, and above all it will be freely distributed on social media. “Anyone can download it and create their own video version or music remix. Of course, on the condition that he/she continues to distribute it non-commercially as a tribute to war veterans,” specifies Miroslava Pašková, chairwoman of the VLČÍ MÁKY Association.
The first is a video clip available in the form of a compilation of photographs selected by the composer Tomáš Kympl himself in the military archive and then supplemented with a selection of photographs taken by soldiers on foreign missions provided by the Ministry of Defence.
At the same time, a video clip by Dan Špalek, a member of the Active Reserve of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic and a volunteer of the VLČÍ MÁKY Association, is being published, which commemorates the victims of all Allied soldiers across the conflicts of the 20th century. Our editorial staff is presenting this video version in an exclusive premiere.
Video: Tomáš Kympl: The song “It’s time” (to celebrate War Veterans Day on November 11, 2020) / YouTube
It is not just a time of memories, it is necessary to actively help the veterans
In recent years, there have been several non-governmental non-profit organizations in the Czech Republic focused on supporting veterans and their families. In addition to the Military Solidarity Fund, which financially supports orphans in particular, it is, for example, the Community Center for War Veterans Brno, which is currently opening a branch in Prague.
All soldiers killed in foreign missions after 1989 are remembered by the traditional Walk of Thanksgiving, Respect and Humility, in which a team from the Military Museum of General S. J. Ingr visits the graves of the fallen. The walk is taking place for the fourth year in a row now. The same team also placed around a hundred commemorative benches of war veterans across the Czech Republic and abroad.
Picture: All soldiers killed in foreign missions after 1989 are remembered by the traditional Walk of Thanksgiving, Respect and Humility, in which a team from the Military Museum of General S. J. Ingr visits the graves of the fallen. | Pavel Křižka (with courtesy of the author)
The already mentioned VLČÍ MÁKY Association is currently completing the second series of charity auctions of the Flags for Veterans project. There are a total of thirty of them, five have been auctioned in the spring and another five in recent weeks. More series will follow. Proceeds from each flag help a particular client, usually with the permanent consequences of a service-connected injury. The association provides comprehensive assistance through the Army Help program.
The most significant collection for War Veterans Day has been organized for several years in a row by the Memory of the Nation – Post Bellum, but its proceeds will mainly help participants in the anti-communist resistance. What helps to popularize it is the wearing of poppies among the Czech public, but unfortunately it does not support modern war veterans. Their memory will be kept alive at least by symbolic planting of poppies in the parks of large cities. The Memory of the Nation wants to extend the collection until the end of November.
It does not end on 11 November
Let’s return to the premiere of the musical tribute “It’s time”. A free license for music and video remakes directly encourages the public to keep the words of thanks to the heroes in the air this way at least throughout the entirety of November.
Furthermore, the VLČÍ MÁKY association will officially launch the Martin Marcin Library. It is named after one of the soldiers who laid down his life in Afghanistan. Martin’s mother donated his private library to the association, which will now supplement it with books donated by other military figures. Those interested will thus borrow the books which heroes used to leaf through and draw inspiration from.