Congratulations and peaceful wishes to all, and among the first, the brave men and women of the Russian Armed Forces on the Day of the Defender of the Fatherland.
For almost one hundred years, there has been a continuous celebration of those who defend Russia on the 23rd of February.
Nowadays, it also serves as a counterpart to the celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th. Though instead of men presenting women with flowers, women congratulate men are the service they have done, or would be willing to do if need be, to protect their families and country.
But far more important than the history of the commemoration, is the memory of the Heroes themselves. Before we remember those recently fallen, lets never forget the brave Heroes who in 1945 captured Berlin, ending the reign of the most evil regime in human history, and bringing to Russia eternal glory.
Far too often are these veterans forgotten, but we must never forget over 80% of the Nazi war machine fell on the eastern front; they fell to Russian steel and Ukrainian shot, in the fields of Stalingrad, in Leningrad, beyond the Carpathians and the fields of Berlin the Red Army fought. Memory Eternal! Now it is up to us to remember them…
The brutality of war, and almost serene way Russians met death without fear, for the sake of the Motherland is enshrined in the haunting beauty of folk songs.
Russia’s legacy, and that of Slavic peoples in the defense of Europe is so great, some call the Slavs “The Lambs of Europe”, because their blood is always spilled like a sacrificial lamb, for the sake of Europe. Thus it was against the Mongols, who would have laid ruin to all Europe if Rus’ didn’t bear the brunt of the suffering. It was the Slavs, under King Sobiewski of Poland who saved Vienna from the Ottoman Empire. Were it not for the Polish Winged Hussars, Austria may very well be Muslim, but once again, Slavic people sacrificed themselves, “For our freedom, and for yours”.
Slavs fell in the defense of freedom against Napoleon and Hitler, who otherwise would have surely conquered the world, had Russia not stopped them. Once more, Russia holds the line in Syria, fighting with the Syrian people in order to prevent terrorists from overwhelming the world.
Russians understand, however, that this national podvig (a word meaning spiritual destiny/duty/feat/achievement) which Russia is ordained to accept is self-sacrificing, and they do not fear this, for they know that, like the Church Slavonic saying goes:
“The Righteous shall flourish like the Phoenix”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.