Uzbekistan Celebrates May 9th

by Laurence on 5/10/2005

Here’s a report from that differs from Gulnara Saidazimova’s RFE/RL story claiming Uzbekistan has cancelled Victory Day: Uzbek leader meets World War II veterans:

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met veterans of World War II veterans at the Mourning Mother Square on 9 May. Islam Karimov visited the Square of Mourning Mother and laid a wreath under the Mourning Mother Monument. President Karimov said: ‘This day we sorrow on all of those Uzbeks and brothers from former Soviet Union, who died.’ He added that youth should honour and respect history, culture and traditions.

The Uzbek President flew back from Moscow for the ceremonies. When I lived in Tashkent in 2003, I attended May 9th ceremonies at the Mourning Mother memorial off Independence Square, and witnessed scores of veterans wearing their medals, as well as a goose-stepping honor guard. It was very moving, and impressive. The official US State Department page Local Holidays: Uzbekistan lists May 9th as “Victory Day.”

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