Candle of Memory in Washington
On June 22, at 4 am the Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union and the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 began. This date is marked as the Day of Memory and Sorrow in Russia.
Today in Washington (June 22, 4 am in Moscow) people gathered at the National WWII Memorial to lit up candles to honor the memory of #27 million Soviet people who have fallen in this Sacred War.
Diplomats from the Russian Embassy, military representatives (including Military attaché), and Representative office of the Russian Ministry of Defense for memorial work in the USA participated in the ceremony.
On June 22, 1941, German troops invaded the Soviet Union’s territory. German planes dropped bombs on Kiev, Minsk, Riga, Sevastopol and other cities and towns. The war lasted 1,418 days. 18 million civilians and 8.7 million servicemen were killed. Four million people were tortured and killed at Nazi death camps. Some 4.5 million Red Army soldiers and officers were captured, and 2.5 million of them died in captivity.
All across Russia, various events to honor the memory of WWII victims are held, and minutes of silence are observed.
Since 1994, Moscow holds the annual Memory Watch campaign to mark the sad date. Youth movements, war veterans and Moscow government officials traditionally take part. Overnight to June 22, participants gather near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on the Red Square to observe a minute of silence and lay wreaths to the monument, dedicated to all unidentified soldiers who lost their lives in the war.
Another notable campaign, the Candle of Memory, is held annually since 2009. On June 21, a memorial candle is lit at Moscow’s Yelokhovo Cathedral and is taken to the Hall of Memory and Grief of the Great Patriotic War museum on the Bow Hill. This candle is used to light many others, which are brought to WWII burial sites and monuments all over the country. In 2015, other former Soviet States, including Kazakhstan, Armenia and Belarus joined the campaign.
In 2009, the Memory Alley opened at Moscow’s Sparrow Hills.
Annually since 2017, a demilitarized convoy of armored vehicles departs from Moscow to Minsk and then returns back to Moscow. The event coincides with the beginning of the Great Patriotic War.
Besides, remains of WWII victims, discovered by search parties during the past year, are reburied with military honors on this day. Last year, such ceremonies took place in Central Russia’s city of Voronezh, in the northwestern regions of Novgorod, Vologda and Komi and south Russia’s Stavropol region.