On May 9, on Victory Day, a great day for the whole country, Karelia along with all of Russia took part in the Immortal Regiment march. Participants were residents of cities and towns, young and old throughout the Republic, who proudly carried portraits of their relatives - the heroes of the war. In the capital of the Republic about 10,000 people took part in the march under the banner of the "Immortal Regiment", which is three times more than last year.
The solemn march of the descendants of the winners in a joint column of the "Immortal regiment" has become one of the main and most touching events of the Holiday. The event, which unites thousands of people, is a tribute of remembrance and gratitude. It is the gratitude to those who forged the Great Victory at the expense of their lives.
The largest patriotic march took place in Petrozavodsk. Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who gave their lives for peace marched in a single column. For all the participants, the war is a page of the family chronicle. Each portrait stands for a heroic story, which is passed on from one generation to another.
Alexander Khudilainen, the Head of Karelia, marched along with the column of the "Immortal Regiment". He was carrying the photos of his relatives: his father, Peter Khudilainen, a gunner of the Volkhov front, and his uncle, Alexander Khudilainen, a Red Army soldier of the 74th independent reconnaissance battalion of the 168th Rifle Division.
"The war affected every family. My father and his two elder brothers were career military people, so they served in the field forces. My father fought at the Volkhov front, uncle Sasha died near Sortavala on August 18, 1941. Thanks to the search engines, we managed to find an operational record of my uncle, who I was named after. I haven't found any information about the second uncle yet, but I hope it is a matter of time," the Head said.
Alexander Khudilainen expressed his gratitude to all the citizens of Karelia, who came today to honor the memory of those fallen on the fields of war, and to the organizers of the action which only in Petrozavodsk has brought together ten thousand people - adults and children.
"Victory Day for me personally is the most important holiday. It is the holiday of remembrance and respect for our veterans and history. I am very pleased that in recent years in Russia there is such a consolidation of society, such a union and patriotic upsurge," the Head of the Republic said.
In Petrozavodsk, the movement of the "Immortal regiment" column began at 3 PM Moscow time, as in other large cities. Ahead there was a copy of the Victory Banner, 200 sq. meters in size. The participants of the march moved from Lenin Square along the Karl Marx Prospect to Kirov Square. High above their heads, they were holding pictures of relatives who had defended our Homeland. They walked proudly and with tears in the eyes.
At the end of the march in Kirov Square, as all the participants performed the anthem of the Soviet people's victory in the Great Patriotic War - the song "Victory Day", 71 doves of peace soared into the sky. Many residents of the town who came that day to the streets gazed at the portraits of the victorious soldiers.
The "Immortal Regiment" event was held in all municipal and urban districts of Karelia. It is worth noting that last year, more than 15,500 people of the Republic participated in the "Immortal Regiment".
This morning in the capital of Karelia the traditional parade of the Petrozavodsk garrison also took place. The Head of the Republic congratulated all the inhabitants and visitors of Karelia on the 71st anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War.
"71 years ago, the bloodiest war in the history of mankind, which released the entire world from the fascist plague, ended. And today the whole world is celebrating this great holiday. Victory parades, celebrations, the "Immortal Regiment" event took place not only in Russian cities, but also in the cities of Europe and even America. Overseas ideologues could not rewrite history, and the world knows to whom it owes the victory in this terrible war, and who was the true winner.
Many thanks to all the residents, and especially the veterans, for the unity and solidarity that we exhibit. Russia was, is and will be great!" Alexander Khudilainen said.
Throughout the day festivities, concerts and mass celebrations are held in Petrozavodsk and in the districts of the Republic. The Holiday will be concluded with fireworks in honor of the victors.