Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Victory Day

We are EXHAUSTED from our whirlwind itinerary each day. We'll all write it up when we're not busy actually living it!

Here's one picture, though, of the kids giving flowers to a veteran at Victory Park last night. It's a tradition on May 9th (the end of WWII, during which 20% of the Russian population died, including many civilians) for all veterans, or their widows, to dress up with all their medals and be honored at parades and festivals. People of all ages, but mainly children, go up to the veterans, give them flowers and express their thanks.

This kind man was so surprised and thankful when our kids went up to him. As he accepted the tulips, he said: "Thank you so much! Many of us left to fight the war, and so many never returned... Your appreciation honors them, too."

Gotta call it quits now. Poor us; we have to rush to make it to Gisèle at the Bolshoi Theater!


Annie said...

I DO love all these beautiful traditions! The flowers on all the monuments touched my heart, too....

In fact - Russians really DO seem to "say it with flowers".

One time or other I was walking around and played a game with myself. I'd suddenly look in a new direction to see if I saw someone carrying flowers....and over and over I DID!

Lori said...

That old man looks really sweet too! Have fun at the ballet, and thanks to you and the others for keeping the rest of us informed and entertained during your vacation so that we can vacation vicariously through you guys.

The Expatresse said...

I wish I'd known about the flowers. I've seen many people in my neighborhood wearing their medals. I considered saluting them or maybe shaking their hands.

Natalie said...

I posted the comment that looks like it came from Lori. I was at here house this weekend and everytime I turned around, someone else was signed into blogger. oops.

Francie said...

That is just so sad and sweet what that man said! And I agree with Nat, thanks for posting so we can know what's going on while our family is there with you!

Tina in CT said...

It was so touching to hear what the veteran told the children. We had two big bouquests of tulips but kept looking for veterans to give them too. Evidently the veterans went earlier and were in the reserved seating for the show. When we saw them in their neighborhood park, we didn't have flowers at that point to hand out.

Annie, there were flowers everywhere and we saw them still on war memorials on our drive out to the airport this morning too.

I left the others when they plopped down on the grass waiting for the fireworks to begin as I wanted to squeeze my way in as far as I could to see the show. I was able to get into the crowd enough to see part of the show on one of the big screens. The orchestra, military chorus and all the individual singers were so good and I wish I'd known the words to sing along with the crowd.

I also didn't want to plop down on the grass as I didn't think I'd ever be able to get up. We walked and walked that day and the old bod was tired. Little did I know that I'd have to squeeze it through a fence.