The war claimed over 50 million people and 27 million only in this country. Not to forget the past means not to forget people. Our memory is the best reward to the living and the fallen. So our sacred duty before all those who gave their lives for freedom and independence of new generations to come is to prevent another war.
My friend’s grandmother witnessed Victory Day in Moscow in 1945. This is what she said about that time: “After the fall of Berlin on the 2nd of May, it was clear to everybody that the day of victory was quite near. Then it came at last the happy news of victory.
It began at two in the morning. People who were not sleeping at that time heard this news over the radio. The war against fascist Germany was over. Immediately lights appeared in the windows, telephones began to ring. People woke up their friends in the middle of the night, telling them the happy news.
Crowds of people went into the streets. The faces of the people were happy, they sang songs, kissed each other, many people cried, they surrounded the military men and thanked them.
Young people walked from street to street, from square to square, singing, dancing, laughing. It was a great victory.
In the evening the Red Square and Gorky Street (now Tverskaya Street) and every other street and square in the centre were crowded with people. Nobody stayed at home that evening.
to claim — требовать; зд. уносить
reward — награда
sacred duty — священный долг
to witness — быть свидетелем