Historical photo of the Soviet and American soldiers’ meeting on the Elbe river, April 1945.
Russia Ambassador in USA Anatoly Antonov has made some remarks on the 78-th Anniversary of the Historic Meeting of Soviet and American troops on the Elbe River: “The Embassy has been banned from taking part in the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Spirit of the Elbe marker at Arlington National Cemetery for the second year in a row” (sic!).
Anatoly Antonov writes:
“On April 25, we celebrate the Historic Meeting of Soviet and American troops on the Elbe River. 78 years have passed since then. This day symbolizes the brotherhood-in-arms between the USSR and the United States that fought shoulder to shoulder against Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
The sky of Moscow lit up with festive fireworks on that day. Celebrations also took place in New York. The iconic photo of the historic handshake between the Soviet and U.S. army lieutenants rapidly spread around the world.
People in our country honor the contribution of the anti-Hitler Coalition Allies into eradicating the “brown plague”. We will always pay tribute to courage and valor of comrades-in-arms.
U.S. veterans and ordinary citizens also hold dear the memory of the great deeds. Every year they lay flowers to World War II memorials in different states – to the monuments to Soviet warriors in Los Angeles, to the sailors of the U.S. Merchant Marine in New York to commemorate the beginning of the “lend lease” shipments, to the heroes of the Alaska-Siberia air bridge in Fairbanks as well as to the tomb of the Red Army soldier in Seattle. In 2020, many dwellers of Elizabeth City headed by the mayor paid homage to our pilots who had lost their lives when the “Catalina” hydroplane had crashed while being transported to the USSR under the “Zebra” project.
Today's historic date is sacred to us. We liberated Europe from the Fascist filth.
The aggressor was defeated then. Thanks to the joint efforts, with the decisive role of the Red Army, we crushed the enemy.
There are fewer and fewer soldiers left who won that war. Time erases the memory of those horrific events, America lost about half a million of its troops back at that time. The Soviet people took the brunt of the war. Our country lost more than twenty-seven million people.
We must not let the previous mistakes repeat themselves. Today, the common task is to fight for peace and security against the sprouts of the "brown plague", which have been flourishing in Ukraine and other European countries, against any attempts to justify the Nazi criminals and their accomplices.
With remembering the lessons of history, we can live and strengthen the defense of the Motherland. I believe one of the main tasks is to tell the younger generation about those heroic days. To convey to young people the fact that thanks to millions of soldiers and officers from the USSR and other states, they can enjoy their life. It is necessary to protect the memorials and the burial grounds of the soldiers and officers who perished during the terrible years of World War II.
It is becoming increasingly difficult for us to reach out to official Washington about the importance of preserving memory and working together to perpetuate the heroes of those times.
The Embassy has been banned from taking part in the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Spirit of the Elbe marker at Arlington National Cemetery for the second year in a row.
Last December our diplomats were not allowed to visit Fort Richardson National Cemetery in Anchorage, where Soviet pilots, who died in 1942-1945 while transferring aircraft from the USA to the USSR along the Alaska-Siberia route, are buried.
Such an attitude is insulting not only for the veterans of the two countries, but also for everyone who remembers their great deeds.
We express deep gratitude and take a deep bow to all members of the anti-Hitler coalition who fought for freedom and a peaceful future on our planet!”
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