The Immortal Regiment
in Volgograd (Stalingrad).
I'm a firm believer in never going any place where there will be large crowds.
It's definitely related to the times that we live in.
However, this past May 9th, I was visiting with friends in Volgograd.
This city experienced what has been called 'the largest battle in history'.
This was the gigantic Battle of Stalingrad.
Winston Churchill said 'the Russians at Stalingrad
tore the guts out of the German war machine'.
To commemorate this battle, a GIGANTIC statue was constructed in 1967.
Victory Day celebrates the defeat of Nazi Germany.
It is a major holiday in Russia
and all of Europe.
Victory Day 2015!
To get to the Motherland Calling monument and the festivities,
I first had to get onto the metro.
This is a subway type train that arrives every 15 minutes or so.
This day was different.
At the underground metro station
thousands of people stood near the tracks trying to get on.
There were so many people trying to get to the event that the trains were running every 5 minutes.
The trains were crammed!
The rules were blatantly broken as hundreds of people crammed their way onto each car.
It took a number of trains to
arrive and depart
before one stopped with an entrance right in front of me.
I got on and wondered if I was making a really serious mistake.
They would never have allowed the trains to be so full in the U.S.
But this was the 70th anniversary
of Victory Day;
a special day.
In fact, that's why I was back in Russia...
for the 7th time.
There must have been 100,000 people there!
Here I am with some friends that I have known for many years.
With old friends and new friends...
What is the Immortal Regiment?
Every five years in Russia,
people carry placards and photos of friends and relatives
who died in world War II.
This is to signify that even though they are gone,
they have not been forgotten.
They are immortal...