SYDNEY, May 5. /TASS/. The Immortal Regiment march commemorating World War II heroes has started in Australian cities. The participants in the procession walked along the central streets of Sydney on Sunday.
"The Immortal Regiment event traditionally attracts a great number of fellow countrymen in Australia, though there are not so many Russians here, but nevertheless our column is becoming increasingly crowded each year. Over 100 people have gathered in the city center carrying portraits of their grandfathers and great grandfathers today despite a heavy rainfall, to commemorate the heroes who died during World War II," the coordinator of the march Kseniya Trifonova told TASS.
The Immortal Regiment column walked along Sydney’s central streets from Martin Place to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) memorial where the participants laid flowers to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and observed a moment of silence. The people in the column carried not only the portraits of World War II veterans, but also the Russian and Australian flags.
According to the coordinator of the procession in Sydney, the Immortal Regiment event has already become a tradition for Australia. "Marches have been held in Sydney since 2013, though initially the column walked well before Victory Day, on April 25, on Anzac Day. However, this is the third year that it takes place as a completely independent event, which we are attempting to hold on the weekend closest to Victory Day for as many fellow countrymen to be able to participate in it as possible, since people like it," Trifonova said.
The Immortal Regiment event is extremely important not only for Russia-and CIS-born marchers as each year it attracts a growing number of Australians interested in the history of World War II and the role of the Soviet people in achieving the victory in it, the participants of the procession said.
Earlier the Immortal Regiment walked along the streets of Melbourne, attracting over 100 people. On Monday, May 6, the column will walk along the streets of Brisbane. On May 12, New Zealand’s Auckland will join the Immortal Regiment march.
The Immortal Regiment procession is a public event where people carry photos of their relatives who participated in the Great Patriotic War. The first march was held in the Siberian city of Tyumen in 2007, under the name of the Parade of the Victorious. In 2013, the procession was held in 120 cities. In the following year, citizens of 500 cities in seven countries walked along the streets carrying the portraits of veterans. Sydney joined the event in 2013. The Immortal Regiment marches have taken place in Brisbane since 2015, and in Melbourne - since 2017.