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Immortal Regiment march in Sydney brings together more than 100 participants

Most people carried portraits of their relatives who had fought in WWII

SYDNEY, May 6. /TASS/. More than 100 people took part in the Immortal Regiment march in Sydney, Australia, on Sundy.

They marched down Martin Place, a pedestrian mall in central Sydney, carrying Soviet, Russian, Ukrainian and Australian flags. A group of young people tailing the procession carried flags of the former Soviet republics. Most people carried portraits of their relatives who had fought in WWII. Elderly participants said those were portraits of their fathers and grandfathers, teenagers spoke about their great-grandfathers or even great-great grandfathers. One of the youngest participants, nine-year-old Masha, said she was born in Australia and was carrying a portrait of her great-grandfather, of whom she knows "almost nothing, but knows that he was at war".

There were no official speeches, participants sang war-time songs, and stopped by a WWI memorial to pay tribute to all those who had been killed in world wars. After the march, people got together in groups just to talk. They were all glad they had taken part in the march and said next year they would come and bring along those who were not able to come on Sunday.

Coordinator Kseniya Trifonova said the Immortal Regiment action was launched in Sydney back in 2013, but marches were at first part of the parade on April 25, a remembrance day for those killed in wars and military conflicts. However, last time the organizers did not allow portraits to be carried at the parade.

A separate Immortal Regiment march took place last year. "We saw then that people like this holiday very much, they want to participate. This is very important for them as well as for the growing generation. It is very good and important that people remember and respect their history," she said.

The ‘Immortal Regiment’ march is an annual event held throughout Russia and in other countries. The event is dedicated to the victory in Great Patriotic War (part of WWII) that claimed lives of about 28 million Soviet people, both soldiers and civilians. During the march, people carry portraits of their relatives who fought or died during the war. For the first time the event was held in 2007 in the city of Tyumen, then it was called Victory Parade. The name Immortal Regiment appeared in 2012 when a similar rally was held in Tomsk. Since 2015 the ‘Immortal Regiment’ march has become nationwide.