Every nation has a memorial of the unknown soldier. I have seen the memorial in Washington, D.C., Athens Greece and now in Moscow and the Eternal Flame at St. Petersburg, Russia. As the child of a disabled WWII American Veteran whose father was lost in action until discovered by the Red Cross in a stalag camp in East Germany and a Greek WWII POW father-in-law, I am sensitive to issues relating to our veterans and military. One understands a nation in the way they honor their soldiers lost in action.
Seeing the changing of the guard of the Monument to the Unknown soldier was impressive. The serious, exact precision with tall leg extensions reminding me of the Evzone changing of the guard at Syntagma Square in Athens. It honors the heroes of the “Great Patriotic War”. It is located at the north end of Alexander Garden. This is their national pilgrimage. The inscription reads “Your name is unknown, your deeds immortal” Every hour on the hour, guards perform the ceremony in changing of the guards. There is an eternal flame.
The Field of Mars or Marsovo Polye (Russian: Ма́рсово по́ле) is a large park nam
ed after Mars, the Roman god of war, situated in the center of Saint-Petersburg, with an area of about 9 hectares. The Field of Mars had beautiful gardens that made an impression. The Eternal Flame commemorating heroes who lost their lives was the first in Russia. The flame was delivered to the Tomb of the unknown soldier in Moscow’s kremlin. The bright colorful flowers gave a presence of peace.
“The whole earth is the tomb of heroic men and their story is not given only on stone over their clay but abides everywhere without visible symbol woven into the stuff of other mens lives.” Pericles