Veterans Day 2010
Hudreds of soldiers of the Czech military together with state and local governments representatives paid tribute to the fallen at all war conflicts on the occasion of the Veterans Day 11 November. Events are also the place where both old and new veterans meet and remember.
The highest Czech state representatives together with soldiers and veterans gathered at the National Memorial in Prague - Vitkov to remember the Veterans Day. Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra appointed nine war veterans into higher ranks.
„I think that democratic country must pay tribute to all who had fallen in struggle for peace and the statehood,“ Vondra said. But the fact, that the Czech Republic has commemorated the Veterans Days only from 2001, he considers as a great debt. „Communists have broken the historical memory and we must revive it. I feel it myself - for a week already I wear the poppy flower on my jacket and daily, some thirty, forty people ask me what it is.“
To the position of new veterans Vondra says that Czech society still regards the soldiers who served in recent missions low. „The deficit in this is clear, and I want the Ministry of Defence to do more in this, because we had veterans, we have them, and if we keep on protection of feedom in the future, we also will have them.“
According to Chief of the General Staff General Vlastimil Picek, the present soldiers are very good. „After we joined NATO, we passed a good deal of journey. Our soldiers learned a lot and show it in meeting their commitments and tasks on foreign missions. We are considerd to be one of the best countries,“ General Picek said.
One of the awarded is Jan Bacik, who fled Nazis from Czechoslovakia to France, where he joined the Foreign Legion. After the fall of France, he got escape through Gibraltar to the U.K., where he received parachute training. But due to his injury, he did not participate in any airborne invasion. At the end of war, he was transferred to armour. From October 1944, he fought at Dunkerque as a tank platoon leader within the Czechoslovak Independent Armour Brigade.
The chairman of the Senate, Premysl Sobotka, attended the event along with Miroslava Nemcova - the Chairman of the House of Deputies, Michael Hrbata - Deputy Defence Minister, and Frantisek Bublan - Chairman of the Defence and Security Committee of the House of Deputies.
- The public together with the Czech military reminded the Veterans Day at many places throughout the Czech Republic. Open the pictures from several places of remembrance and celebrations: