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Immortal Regiment March Participants Stress Importance of US-USSR WWII Alliance

© Sputnik / Liudmila ChernovaAbout 700 people walked from the White House to the WWII memorial during the Immortal Regiment March in Washington
About 700 people walked from the White House to the WWII memorial during the Immortal Regiment March in Washington - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The cooperation between Russia and the Unites States during the World War II should never be forgotten and the alliance of the two countries should be preserved, the participants of the Immortal Regiment commemorative march in Washington, DC told Sputnik.

Hundreds of people gathered in the US capital on Saturday for the march, commemorating the 73th anniversary of the victory over the Nazi Germany in the World War II.

Great Alliance

Robert Mitrocsak, a US citizen, who had already attended the march in the past, told Sputnik that he specifically searched for it on the Internet ahead of time to make sure not to miss the event.

"I am here to honor my father and my uncles who fought in the World War II," he said, holding up a sign with eight names on it.

READ MORE: WWII Immortal Regiment Commemorative March Held in Washington (PHOTO)

Mitrocsak explained that he did not have any photos.

"We were in alliance with the Russian people,… together, they crushed fascism. Because of their great sacrifice, on both sides,… many people need to be honored… All of these men [his relatives] were allies with the Russian people. It’s my generational responsibility to continue that alliance," Mitrocsak said.

His father was a merchant marine and fought in four theaters: the Mediterranean, the Gulf of Taranto, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, the march participant said.

"I am very proud of my father, he is a hero. My uncle Albert Falkovich was a football player. He left his college and went into the US Marine Corps and fought all the way across the Pacific. He lost his leg during the war. He gave a great sacrifice. My uncle Leo Koslowski was the most important one, he was a US army cook," Mitrocsak said, smiling.


Tim Rush, from Leesburg, Virginia, came to the march with a photo of his uncle Alen Pifer, a World War II veteran.

"I am here to honor all those who fought against fascism in World War II," Rush said.

Rush noted that on May 5, 1945, exactly 73 years ago, his uncle was one of the US soldiers that liberated Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.

Rush also pointed out that that around that time the Soviet and US soldiers were meeting at the Elbe River.

"My uncle was not there for that [at the Elbe meeting]… The reason I came is because it’s so important to identify these points of collaboration between Russia and the United States especially today with so much ugly denigration of Russia in the United States," Rush said.

The march participant emphasized the importance of remembering the World War II.

"I am very, very proud of my uncle and what it represented for the United States, Russia and other nations to collaborate in the nightmare of the fascist government," Rush said.

Remembering Horrors Of War

Among those who attended Saturday’s march was also 92-year-old Irina Kalitenko from Moscow, who now lives in the United States with her family. Kalitenko, who was a seven-grade school girl during the World War II and remembers all its horrors, shared some of her memories with Sputnik.

Participant's in Immortal Regiment commemoration activities in New York gather for a march - Sputnik International
WWII Immortal Regiment Commemorative Marches Begin in US Cities
"This is my brother Vitya, Victor Lukyanov. I am so thankful that I could come today here with him. He was a student, and in the first year of the war he volunteered. Vitya went to war on September 30, 1941, and was killed on October 6 the same year. My mom cried until her last day, and her last words were 'Vitya, Vitya, Vitya'," Kalitenko said, holding up a photo, with tears in her eyes.

Kalitenko said she had taken part in the Immortal Regiment march in Washington, DC last year.

"I am happy that Victor is here today, with me and with everyone. I participated in the march last year, and I will be taking part in this initiative until I am able to," she concluded.

The participants of the march walked from the White House to the World War II Memorial where they laid flowers. The march was accompanied by the songs of the WWII period sung by the participants to the music performed by a bayan player.

The group was headed by the only war veteran present at the event, Leonid Ermakov, 92, who moved to the United States a few years ago, to join his relatives.

The event concluded with a concert of wartime songs performed by the young students of "Kaleidoscope" folk dance club and Yale Russian choir.

The Immortal Regiment marches are usually held ahead of or on May 9, with people bringing photos of their relatives who had fought in or lived through the World War II. The first US march was held in the city of New York on May 3, 2015.

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