Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Fallen soldiers of World War I remembered in Slovakia

In the Slovak capital and four other cities, the end of World War I and those killed were commemorated November 11.

The commemorative feast on International veterans Day, at war cemetery in Petržalka-Kopčany, November 11.(Source: SITA)

People should not forget the horrors of war for the sake of those who fought for peace, Defence Minister Peter Gajdoš said at the military cemetery in Bratislavan borough of Petržalka, in the local part called Kopčany, on November 11. Speaking at a commemoration ceremony in honour of soldiers who fought and died in World War I, Gajdoš said that evil still has its place in society.

“Therefore, we must fight hard against extremism and fascism,” he stressed, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “Freedom isn’t self-understood and it has its price, and it needs to be respected. The victims of war mustn’t be forgotten, as they laid down their lives for peace,” he added.

There are currently more than 7,000 veterans of WWI in Slovakia, the minister went on to say. The state respects all of them and intends to increase their benefits. Since November, higher benefits have been paid, for example, to those who participated in the national struggle for liberation (in the world wars) as well as to the widows and widowers of the participants.

Historical background

The military cemetery in Kopčany was set up during WWI in 1916, adjacent to a field hospital in which mainly soldiers fighting for the Austro-Hungarian Empire were treated. A total of 331 soldiers from nine identified nations who fought for both sides in the conflict were laid to rest in the cemetery.

Veterans Day is commemorated annually on November 11 because on this day in 1918, the armistice that ended WWI was signed in the French town of Compiegne. In some countries, November 11 is observed as Remembrance Day or Poppy Day. The brilliant red colour of the poppies symbolises the blood spilled in the war.

Also on November 11, a memorial run took place in Kopčany, starting from the military cemetery, TASR reported. Professional soldiers, students of the Academy of Armed Forces in Liptovský Mikuláš, and athletes from the Military Sports Centre Dukla in Banská Bystrica, led by Olympic champion walker Matej Tóth, participated.

Professional soldiers distributed red poppies as symbols of remembrance on International Veterans Day in the cities of Bratislava, Zvolen, Rožňava, Prešov and Žilina.

Top stories

She faced Russian tanks in 1968. Today, she protests again Photo

There are no tanks pointing at us today, says Mária Homolková, who joined protests in SNP Square once again in March 2018 to secure a better life for her grandchildren.

Thousands of people returned to the streets Photo

Though the main Bratislava protest was cancelled, people attended other gatherings, expressing their disagreement with the current situation.

SNP Square in Bratislava, March 23

Kiska appoints Pellegrini cabinet

The president approved the new government, despite some reservations. The new PM promises to investigate the murder of the journalist and his fiancée.

Peter Pellegrini's government

There is still work to be done

2018 is not a re-run of 1989, but there is a connection.

Bratislava, March 16