BREST, 22 June (BelTA) – Commemorative events in the Brest Fortress began with Requiem by composer Dmitry Kabalevsky and poet Robert Rozhdestvensky, BelTA has learned.
Many local residents traditionally spend the night of 22 June in the Brest Fortress. People come to pay tribute to the citadel defenders and all defenders of the Motherland. At 2.30 a.m. the silence was broken by the sounds of Requiem. In the Year of Historical Memory, this great piece of music was played for the first time on the sacred land of the Brest Fortress. It was performed by honored and exemplary ensembles of Belarus: the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Belarus under the baton of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Aleksandr Anisimov, the State Academic Choir named after Grigory Shirma, the Sonorus choir, the State Chamber Choir, the Academic Choir of Belteleradiocompany, as well as soloists and readers.
The requiem meeting on the Ceremonial Square traditionally began with the solemn carrying of the Banner of the Brest Fortress by the Guard of Honor. A torch was lit from the Eternal Flame of the memorial complex. The border guards put wreaths with candles onto the waters of the Western Bug River to commemorate the fallen defenders of the citadel.
Along with local residents, the ceremony was attended by people from other regions of Belarus and foreigners. Numerous delegations included representatives of government agencies, the Belarus-Russia Union State, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State, diplomatic missions, Russian regions, public associations, participants in patriotic campaigns, including the Memory Train campaign.
“With pain in our souls, we recall the tragic date - 22 June 1941. More than 80 years have passed, but we have not forgotten the heroes, all those who won peace, freedom and independence for us. We still do not know all the horrible things that happened during that terrible war. The investigation of the genocide in Brest Oblast alone revealed 26 previously unknown places of extermination of civilians. All in all, more than 800 settlements were destroyed and obliterated. In no case should we allow fascism and Nazism to resurge and take root in our land. This is our sacred duty to veterans and victims of the Great Patriotic War,” Brest Oblast Governor Yuri Shuleiko emphasized.
The memory of the Fatherland defenders was honored with a minute of silence and a gun salute. The rally participants laid flowers at the Eternal Flame and the slabs of the necropolis.