Today is Veterans Day, when we remember our heroes
11 November is a day dedicated to the memory of the victims of war and honouring war veterans. Soldiers, politicians and the public commemorated these victims and participants of the wars in Prague's Peace Square yesterday, where a rich programme was held throughout the day.
Friday's event at Míru Square was attended and addressed on the podium by the Mayor of Prague 2 Jan Korseska, Minister of Defence Jana Černochová, Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Karel Rehka, the Chief Chaplain of the Army of the Czech Republic Colonel Jaroslav Knichal and other guests.
In her speech, the Minister of Defence reminded that spending on the modernisation of our army is not a waste and that the Army of the Czech Republic is finally being given what it should have had long ago, so that our soldiers can do their job to the best of their ability and use equipment that meets the parameters of the 21st century.
In his speech, General Řehka thanked the general public for its support of the Czech Armed Forces, saying that the soldiers see that society supports them and are happy for that.
During the programme, among other things, the names of all our soldiers who died in the modern missions of the Czech Army were mentioned, whose memory was then honoured with a minute of silence. Each of these soldiers also had a cross with their name on it in the park within the grove of crosses.
Návštěvníci si na akci mohli prohlédnout např. pásové bojové vozidlo pěchoty BVP-2, obrněné vozidlo TITUS 6x6, bojové vozidlo MARS 4x4, Toyota Hilux 4x4 HS SCV 2 atd. K dispozici byly také různé soutěže a vědomostní kvízy v rámci programu Příprava občanů k obraně státu (POKOS).
The Czech Army, Active Reserve, University of Defence, VSŠ and VOŠ MoD in Moravská Třebová, LOM PRAHA s.p., BAE Systems, Czechoslovak Legionary Community, etc. had their presentation stand at the event.
Ninety-nine-year-old Lieutenant General Miloslav Masopust, who fought on the Eastern Front during World War II, did not miss this year's celebrations.
The Prague 2 Municipal District has been organizing the event for the War Veterans Day since 2015, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence and the Military Historical Institute.
Veterans' Day is always held on 11 November (in the Czech Republic, Veterans' Day has been officially celebrated since November 2001), when the Armistice came into force in 1918, ending the fighting of the First World War. During this war, poppy flowers covered the graves of soldiers killed on the Western Front and became a symbol of this holiday.
The poppy is taken as a symbol of remembrance of all those who fought in war conflicts for their country, and has its origins in the poem "In Flanders Fields" by Canadian military doctor John McCrae, who wrote it in 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.