It seems so long ago, when it was MAY …

No, I don’t mean that far away Victory May of 1945, I mean our anniversary may of 2010. In a daze of summer forest fires one could forget not only the Great Victory, but his own name and native country name. Really, what is the name of the country we live today?

Could it be…Russia???

Could it be IT – the country, that liberated from fascism half of Europe, passed through fire, water and copper pipes, through famine and devastation, hatred and bigotry, survived through the revolution and civil war; that has built the world's deepest underground and the world's longest railway, the country, first put a man into space – could it be IT – that had been burning through the whole summer, and nobody could extinguish? Remember Korney Chukovskiy rhyme - «… stew, stew - DO NOT extinguish, pour - NOT floods drown ...»

Well, news! – you will say, - neither here nor there!

Yes, here and there I address these lines. Something has deeply changed in our mind, in everybody, and, alas – not changed for the better.

Where is it, our praised Russian passion?

They were OUR fathers and grandfathers, who were building cities and planes, sank to the bottom of the ocean и climbed the highest mountain peaks; they stood to death in the Brest Fortress and near Moscow, and remained forever on nameless heights…

They were OUR grandmothers and mothers, who survived themselves and were able to raise the children - in subhuman conditions, yet in highly human principles; who worked days and nights «for the Front, for the Victory» and waited months, years, decades for the loved ones to return, keeping hope and faith…

What’s the difference between US and them?

And what is the difference between THEM and us?

And what do WE have, nevertheless, in general?

This year two stories happened to me, parallel and independently from each other:
Firstly - Valentina Alexandrovna Kibalnikova read to me her story about the war from the new compilation of the MGU philological faculty 1955 year graduates;
And secondly - my 12-year old son wrote in his school composition MY CLOSEST PERSON, unexpectedly for the whole family, - story- recollection of his grandfather (my father) about his bitter and proud wartime childhood.

This way - GENERATIONS MET - suddenly, in unison …

Today we are starting new trend in the articles section on our site,
It’s called – « I REMEMBER…» – recollections of World War II
By the people, who were eleven, eight or only five.
Who looked the war into face with their naïve children’s eyes.
Those people, who are fewer every day…
What traces of the Great Patriotic are kept in their hearts?
What do they remember about it?
Read about it!

Margarita Siourina, September 2010

The heading « I REMEMBER…» opens the story of the same name by V.A. Kibalnikova.