Monday, May 10, 2004

Victory Day

Yesterday was Victory Day. Another state holiday. We went to Kiev for the parade and a visit to the Botanical Gardens. We came into the city via the Metro and when we exited to the street, were excited to see that we were exactly where
the parade was coming by. Crowds were gathered on the corner against a barricade and we ran over and claimed our spot and couldn't believe our luck. We were there an hour before it started but kept ourselves entertained. One woman squeezed her kid in against a little girl that was with us and eventually had squeezed 2 more and herself against the rail. There is a lot of squeezing that goes on in this country so nobody except me seemed to take notice.

Then they announced that the parade would be starting shortly.

Then they proclaimed the great pride that Ukraine has for it's veterans and their sacrifice.

Then they announced the parade would be starting shortly.

Then they reiterated the love that all Ukrainians have for the living and dead veterans of all the wars in the history of Ukraine.

Then they announced the parade would start shortly.

Then they reminded us that we were all equally proud of everybody that ever helped in any war effort including those that were not on the front line.

Then they... I was waiting for them to tell us of the great appreciation Ukraine has for all it's enemies that made it
possible for all the glorious wars of the past, but then the parade began.

We could see the approaching banners above everybody's head and I was telling my friends that we had really lucked out to be on a corner that gave such an unobstructed view.

Then the parade turned left.

Before reaching our corner.

So we jumped over the barricades and ran over behind the band and watched from across the street. They were leading everybody up to a square for a ceremony but after the first thousand or so veterans and VIPs, it was full. The parade
continued but in smaller steps. A lot of hammer a sickles flying honoring the glorious Soviet era that destroyed this country and is still a dream for some. We decided to leave after looking at the same group of old dudes for 30 minutes.


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