2011/02/23 "February 23 is a Holiday but Not for All"
  • Press Release No. 11/1347
  • 23/02/2011

February 23. In spite of frost a group of parents of dead soldiers gathered for the annual memorial service arranged by the Mother's Right Foundation. The foundation's staff and volunteers met the parents not far from the Krasnoselskaya station. For us, February 23 will never be a holiday because every year too many people apply to the foundation after their children's death. For our applicants, it's a hard day because they have to listen to officials' solemn TV and radio speeches, and nobody speaks about the boys who will be 20 year old forever. On this day, the foundation workers assemble the deserted parents so that they don't feel lonely. By the metro we make a memorial list of perished soldiers. Some of the names enter the list after parents' phone calls. The list is to stay in the temple: it will be prayed over after the service.

On the eve of the holiday, we received letters from different regions of the RF:

Oksana Volyakova: "We live in the Novosibirsk Region. Unfortunately, such memorial services are not arranged here, and parents of dead soldiers are left alone with their grief.  Our friends' son, Alexei Alexandrovich Petrov, perished on Kunashir island. Would you please pass a note with his name to the father. Thank you in advance."

Antonina Pavlovna Filatova: "Dear Veronika Alexandrovna and the staff of the Mother's Right Foundation! My husband and I are 74. We are disabled people: I'm blind, and my husband has had two infarctions. In 1989, we lost our son, Alexei Borisovich Filatov, officer of the soviet army. Till now we don't know how and when he died because of official lies... Much time passed, and it's impossible to start retrial. I am asking you to mention our son during your memorial service."

Zoya Vasilievna Zakharova: "Dear workers of the Mother's Right Foundation, I feel grateful for your help to parents, as well as for your efforts to preserve the memory of their sons. Would you please add Alyosha's name to the list of perished boys and mention him during the service of February 23."

We also received a letter from Asbest Town, Sverdlovsk Region. The local parents' organization followed our example and started preparing a memorial service for the boys who perished in the army.

Our memorial service took place in the Temple of All Saints, Moscow, as usual. It was conducted by father Vladimir. At the end of the service he wished good health to the parents of dead soldiers. Priests of the temple gave a tulip to each parent.