Prague ceremony marks War Veterans’ Day, minister bestows awards
Prague, Nov 11 (CTK) – A ceremony marking the War Veterans’ Day was held in the National Memorial on Prague’s Vitkov Hill today for soldiers, politicians and the public to remember war victims and soldiers and Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky to award war veterans and those caring for them and their legacy.
Stropnicky (ANO) bestowed the Cross of National Defence on Jiri Charfreitag, a promoter of the “Legions 100” project and renewal of monuments to Czechoslovak legionaries, Vaclav Monhart, a doctor from the Prague-based Central Military Hospital (UVN), and Danuse Noskova, from the Czechoslovak Legionaries’ Community headquarters, who seeks improvement in the care for war veterans.
A Cross of National Defence also went im memoriam to Jaroslav Kvet, a Czechoslovak legionary who fought in World War One, and later also in World War Two in the Middle East, North Africa and as part of an armoured brigade near Dunkirk.
Vaclav Zahalka, another fighter from Dunkirk, also received the award.
The last awarded person was Klement Stastny, a soldier who was killed by unknown civilians 97 years ago while marking the border line between Poland and Czechoslovakia in north Moravia.
A letter of thanks for the salvation of human life was presented to soldiers Robin Student and Jan Hava. As participants in an ice hockey game in Kralupy nad Vltavou, central Bohemia, in October, they provided aid to a fellow player whose throat was cut by a skate.
The War Veterans’ Day, marking the day when the armistice came into force at the close of WWI 99 years ago, has been celebrated in the Czech Republic since 2001.
The Czech military registers about 530 living WWII veterans, compared with 800 two years ago.
The number of contemporary war veterans stood at 13,674 at the end of October.
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