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More than 1,000 people join Immortal Regiment rally in New York

May 07, 6:23 UTC+3 NEW YORK

The Immortal Regiment march has been held in nearly twenty US cities

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© Natalia Slavina-Shkretova/TASS

NEW YORK, May 7. /TASS/. The Immortal Regiment march took place in downtown New York City on Saturday. A column of more than 1,000 people moves along the western bank of the Hudson in Manhattan.

The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Soviet veterans of World War II walked together in one column with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of U.S. veterans.

Kyle, a 25-year-old student brought along with him a portrait of his great-grandfather Henry Peterson, who supplied foodstuffs, medicines, and the necessary equipment to the Soviet Arctic port of Murmansk.

Kyle said he had asked his great-grandfather about the war on a number of occasions by Henry would not be very willing to talk about it because recalling those time always stirred bitter memories in him - too many people died right in front of his eyes.

"I think this was the most dangerous American mission during World War II," Kyle said about the famous Arctic Convoys, which delivered relief supplies and weaponry under the Lend Lease program from the U.S. to the Soviet Union. He recalled Henry’s words that the Nazis bombed from the ships heading for the USSR from the air, while their submarines organized underwater skirmishes.

Kyle also recalled his great-grandfather’s account of a situation where Soviet servicemen confused him for someone else and he had a really narrow escape from being gunned down, but they were grad to recognize each other eventually and hugged one another strongly.

Upon returning home after the war, Henry Peterson married to a Russian woman. "My great grandmother tells me he often woke up in the middle of the night in times of peace because he had dreamed he had been trapped in a bombing raid again," said Kyle, who is majoring in history.

He is very proud of Henry and keeps all of his great grandfather’s medals for valor and excellence with much care.

Participants in the Immortal Regiment rally - many of them young people and adolescents - sang wartime Soviet songs and handed out the black-and-orange bicolor ribbons of St George to the passersby and told them about the meaning of paraphernalia, which is a commonly accepted symbol of combat valor in Russia.

Many passersby gladly joined the column of war veterans and their successors and even tried to sing the legendary song Katyusha together with them.

The memorial to the soldiers who fell during WW II is located in the Battery Park.

Nikolai Zaitsev was one of the veterans of the Great Patriotic War - the way that the war on the Eastern (Soviet) front is called in Russia and the former USSR - who took part in the march.

He told TASS he had absolutely clear memories of all the events of the war. "Such memories don’t wane away and there’s no forgetting that war because of the huge number of victims," he said. "If the memory of war heroes, of those who died is lost, then falsifications of events being and one should start preparing for a new war."

"A repeat of that experience ever again would be inadmissible," Zaitsev said. "It’s important to remember that Russia and the U.S. were standing together in struggle with fascism and that the Soviet Union played a great role in the victory over the enemy."

"I personally find it very regrettable that the USSR’s contribution (to victory) is hushed up here in America," he said.

The Immortal Regiment marches and rallies were held in three American cities for the first time in 2015 at the initiative of the Russian Youth in America association. Steering this public action now is the Coordination Council of the Organizations of Russian Compatriots.

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