Summer is fast approaching and while the flowers and leaves are not out in much abundance the air and longer sun hours make one want to go out and walk around the city. Doing that yesterday during preparations for the May 9 Victory Day parades and civic events, thousands of others were out in the moderate temperatures and warm bright sun. The usual places to congregate were filled but much of the main street, the wide historic Nevsky Prospect was closed off for traffic, in order to resurface and stripe the street meant many thousands were strolling that popular area in the street instead of the usually busy sidewalks.
The mood was light and festive in the runup to a commemoration of a very serious national event, the winning of WW2 May 9 1945. It will feature a massive parade with 250,000 citizens marking with large photos of their relatives who died in that war. 27 million of their countrymen died, both military and civilians defending the country and defeating the most powerful army of up tpo that time in history. No family was untouched.
In addition to the parade, in all cities of Russia, will be concerts, parades of military units flybys of all the combat models of aircraft, tanks and rocket launchers
Symbols of the events seen throughout are orange black ribbons worn by many, the St. George ribbon which is a sign of respect and remembrance. Also seen are red carnation flowers worn or placed on monuments and graves as the symbol of the Red Army and national flag.
The most moving and participated in event is the march of family members who hold large photos of their relatives who served or died in the invasion. Called the Immortal Regiment, this event has become a tradition since 1992 and spread to 60 countries. About 10,000,000 people will participate throughout Russia.