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Volunteers monitor the cleanliness of memorial sites dedicated to the defenders of the Motherland, lay flowers on the graves of the country’s heroes. Why do young Muscovites do this – in the material mos.ru.

On February 23, congratulations are traditionally addressed to those who served and defended the Motherland. However, there are other ways to be a defender of your country and show patriotism. For example, to maintain and preserve the memory of the heroes of the country or regularly take care of memorial sites.

This is exactly what young metropolitan volunteers do during patriotic actions. Why modern youth lay flowers at monuments and what the experience of the past can teach you in mos.ru.

Yana Negrei: There are people who care

Law College Cadet

According to Yana Negrei, students of the College of Law regularly participate in memorial events, moreover, the educational institution itself organizes such events. So, cadets go to the burial places to put in order the graves of the country’s defenders.

“Not far from our college is the Orekhovskoye cemetery, where two anti-aircraft gunners are buried –

Vera Platonova and Nina Vikurovawho died in 1942. The obelisk is dedicated not only to two brave girls, but to all the missing soldiers. We take care of the graves, clean the territory. I feel proud that all the guys who participate are interested in the cause, that there are people who care,” says Yana Negrei.

According to the girl, such actions are really popular among young Muscovites – a college student participated in memorial events while still a schoolgirl. However, you can take the initiative yourself, without timing a good deed with an action and without waiting for the holidays. “You can get together with your family and visit, for example, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or the burial places of those who died in the line of duty. Clear the area, clean up. I believe that everyone who went through the Great Patriotic War and defended their Motherland were heroes,” Yana Negrei stressed. – We must not forget our history, we must always remember to whom we owe for a peaceful sky above our heads. This is how we pay tribute to the memory of the events that took place.”

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Artem Zotov: Remember the defenders of the Fatherland

Eighth grade student of school No. 1874, member of the Youth Army

Despite his young age, Artem Zotov has been participating in patriotic actions for two years now. He regularly joins the procession “Immortal Regiment”, monitors the monuments and memorial sites associated with the Great Patriotic War, and lays flowers.

Most recently, Artem laid flowers at the monument to Marshal of the Soviet Union Alexander Vasilevsky near the building of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the monument to internationalist soldiers in Victory Park, and also congratulated Semyon Leonovich, veteran of the Great Patriotic War, on his 100th birthday. “It is very important to preserve the memory, especially for future generations. During actions I feel proud – it is important for me to take part in such events. I am grateful to the heroes: many died defending the country, for the sake of future generations,” said the student.

Artem Zotov is going to serve in the army. “I want to be a military pilot. Yunarmiya helped me decide on my choice of profession: I plan to become a cadet at the Air Force Academy named after Professor N.E. Zhukovsky and Yu.A. Gagarin,” he added.

Elina Khatamova: Do not step on the rake of the past

Participant of the projects “City of Heroes Moscow” and “Volunteer Company of Combat Brotherhood”, student of Moscow State Pedagogical University

Elina Khatamova admits that she got acquainted with volunteering only at the beginning of the pandemic, but she has already managed to take part in dozens of patriotic actions. “At the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, I realized that my moral convictions needed to be backed up by some kind of action. It is not enough to talk about good things without doing anything. At first she joined the “We are together” campaign, she delivered food to the elderly. Then I met the guys from the Volunteer Company of the Combat Brotherhood and the City of Heroes Moscow, so I began to participate in patriotic actions, ”said Elina.

According to her, the most striking action was “Territory of action: watch of memory.” For two summers in a row, Elina has been participating in search activities.

“Experienced searchers and guys from volunteer organizations gather at the memory watch to search for and raise the remains of the Great Patriotic War fighters. Then they are handed over to relatives. I was the first of my group to find a fighter – he died after being wounded. These emotions are impossible to convey, I didn’t even have words. The man died so many years ago, and now I have found him. Great pride for the people who were able to overcome their fears and stand up for the Motherland,” says Elina Khatamova.

Preservation of historical memory is an important matter, Elina believes. According to her, it is on the examples of history that the future is built. “How will we do something in the future without knowing history. Parents teach us and pass on their knowledge from generation to generation. In a global sense, this is the same: our ancestors pass on memory to us so that we do not step on the rake of the past, if there were any, and build the world of the future,” notes Elina Khatamova.

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Dmitry Kurbanov: Know the history and your ancestors

Head of the City of Heroes Moscow project, graduate of the Russian State Social University

Dmitry Kurbanov manages the regional branch of volunteers, but he started by participating in actions. Nevertheless, Dmitry is still actively delivering gifts to veterans, cleans up during subbotniks, and also helps to preserve the memory of the exploits of the heroes of his country. “Interest in such activities appeared at school. Representatives of organizations came to us, I don’t remember their names anymore, and offered to become a volunteer. My first action took place at VDNKh, there was a subbotnik. Then I was offered to take care of the monuments, and then I got into the volunteer movement,” says Dmitry. — It’s interesting when you see a person in front of you who says thank you for cleaning the monument to the hero, starts to tell some of his story. This is an ordinary grandfather that we can see on the subway, but he can also have an incredible story about saving his colleague.”

Dmitry has always been interested in the history and fate of his family. So, recently the coordinator of volunteers found out that his great-grandfather’s award is in the Tula region. Now, together with his mother, he plans to return the artifact to the family archive.

“Reading history books is interesting. But when you come across real participants in some actions and listen to their stories, you begin to look at these events differently. It is necessary that patriotic actions, taking care of monuments, become commonplace. Caring for monuments should be commonplace. Why not clean up on a free day and honor the memory, lay flowers. Then many of us will begin to know their history and their ancestors,” Dmitry Kurbanov adds.

How to join patriotic actions

Anyone can join the patriotic actions. To do this, you need to become part of a team of volunteers and register on Mosvolonter website or become a member of the project team “City of Heroes Moscow”.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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