Memorial action ‘‘Candle of Memory’’ takes place all over Russia and CIS
On the night of June 21-22, participants of the action in Russian cities, CIS and Baltic states lit candles in their windows of houses and apartments for each of the 27 million people who died in the war. In Moscow this action traditionally took place on Poklonnaya Hill. In 2015 the VII International memorial action in memory of the soldiers who died during the Great Patriotic War was to take place in the context of the major events, timed for the anniversary of the Victory, and dedicated to the unity of the peoples of the USSR in the struggle against the bearers of ideas of Nazism and racial superiority.
Ahead of the event, Pavel Illarionov, coordinator of the action, said that even though the central jubilee celebrations of the Great Victory have passed, the anniversary is going on: “The whole year is devoted to this important event. It is honorable and very responsible for us, the organizers of the action "Candle of Memory’', to carry it this year. After such a large-scale event as the"Immortal regiment" in Moscow, St. Petersburg and throughout Russia, all CIS countries, and in almost all the places of the Russian world. Today we feel much more confident than seven years ago, when it just began.”
“We started this action. I want to say that this action was carried in Russia for the first time in 2005 in the day of breaking the blockade in St. Petersburg. We managed to tie it with June 22, the Day of Remembrance and Mourning. In this regard, it has acquired another meaning. You can talk about some results that this Russian event has become almost nationwide in seven years. It become popular among people,” Pavel Illarionov said.
Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said: “We often see that such social initiatives are born by citizens and have a powerful response among the people. Of course, it especially concerns the event "Immortal regiment’’. It is not even an event, it is a mission. Recently one Orthodox publicist has written. The ‘’dormant’’ people felt the power of other people and ‘’opened’' them. That's what today the country really needs. It is no secret that many people today are tired of the ordinary, from the philistine values, imposed on them by the narrow, stupid, hopeless ideals of the so-called consumer society. People want something real. People want to change the world, people want a new breakthrough in the particular area, which could revive the country. And identify the ‘’dormant’’ people, their internal strength and internal reserves. That is why such actions as the "Immortal regiment" and "Candle of Memory" wake up the gift of intuition, which is able to correct our historical paths. And it's very good.”
Alexey Weitz, member of the Public Chamber of Defense, a member of the motorcycle club "Night Wolves’’, added: “The war was Patriotic. And this action, it is also Patriotic. It is not organized by some person. I inform you as a witness. It was organized itself. And sometimes even it even faded and we have a feeling that it will disappear, because there are a lot of such actions nowadays. But then it suddenly appeared with a new force. It is obvious nowadays.”
Nikolai Zemtsov, Head of the Regional patriotic NGO ‘‘Immortal regiment of Moscow’’, noted: “It seems to me that the "Candle of Memory" action represents the opposite side of the coin of the Victory Day. These are two sides of the same coin, that is just a response to the natural desire of people to indulge in such an event silence, remember, and light a candle. This is such a very intimate, very orthodox, very warm history, as Father Vyacheslav said. In this sense, it may be more numerous than the "Immortal Regiment" because anybody will know about its participants. They will not be registered, but nevertheless, they will take part in it.”