Pilsen unveils memorial to Czechoslovak soldiers who fought on the western front
A memorial dedicated to the Czechoslovak soldiers who fought on the western front in 1940-1945 was unveiled on Husova Street today by officials from the Pilsen Regional Authority, the City of Pilsen and Military Car Club Pilsen. Honored guests included Czech and American war veterans, officials from the Czech Armed Forces, and dozens of Pilsen residents and military enthusiasts.
“From this very moment, the memorial will permanently and respectfully recall the soldiers of all Czechoslovak land units who fought and died on the Western Front in World War II. Pilsen’s Military Car Club contributed significantly to bringing this memorial into existence, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them. Thanks also go to the students at Zámeček School of Applied Arts, where the memorial took its final shape. Young people are the very ones who should be reminded of the history of our country and the contributions our soldiers made,” Pilsen Region Governor Milan Chovanec stated in his speech.
Deputy Mayor Eva Herinková also described how important it was to never forget one’s own history. “Today we are standing in front of a memorial that is just a few meters away from the memorial to the U.S. 16th Armored Division. They are very close – like the thoughts and ideas of the American and Czech soldiers who fought side-by-side for freedom during World War II. Here they will remain next to one another as a memorial to their joint action, as a reminder for future generations. Today’s meeting is one of the last memorial ceremonies of this year’s Liberation Festival. I hope that we will also be able to meet at this memorial year after year, just like at the memorials to U.S. and Belgian soldiers.”Of the original members of the Czechoslovak Independent Armoured Brigade, only forty of those who arrived in Pilsen on May 7, 1945, are still alive.