The celebration will offer a traditional military-historical program with period military camps, acts of respect, cultural blocks and on Sunday, May 8, Liberty military equipment convoy along Klatovská Street with 70 pieces of historical equipment and about 200 cars. “After the last two years of the coronavirus pandemic, when the program was narrowed down mainly to online broadcasts, the celebrations will take place in full form and tens of thousands of visitors from the Czech Republic and abroad are waiting again,” the city council member said. Veronika Jilichova Nova (ODS). According to him, Pilsen’s Independence Day is one of the biggest liberation celebrations in Europe.
“Especially at this time, it’s important to remember freedom,” said Mayor Pavel Indelář (ODS), who sent a personal invitation letter to American and Belgian veterans. Their stories served as inspiration for the Saturday night show. Thank you friends! directed by Michal Caban at náměstí Republiky starting at 20:00, which Jilichová says will be the highlight of the cultural offering. “We have confirmed the participation of several veterans, saying that they will come when their health allows. Some will send family representatives, we’ll see. We will determine it a few days before the start of the celebrations,” the councilor said.
The biggest change compared to traditional years is the partial transfer of the military history program from the now reconstructed park behind the Plaza shopping center to the garden circuit around the central square. The set will include the Tommy & Yankee Military History Club, which seeks to bring the lives of American soldiers as close as possible to so-called revived history, and the 16th Armored Division Military History Club with headquarters for teams and commanders. “There will be heavy and light armored vehicles on display. The most valuable, largest and heaviest were the extremely rare Sherman M4A4 medium tank, three halftracks, four Ford M8 light armored reconnaissance cars and the Diamond heavy tractor. Everything will work and move,” said Pavel Rogl of the military history club that hosted the 16th Armored Division. The club, with about 100 people in uniform at the time, would stand in the garden on the first day of US Army period camp.
The combined section representing the legacy of the Czechoslovak Independent Armored Brigade with participants from the Netherlands, England and Slovakia with period technology will be presented in the new U Ježíška area near the train station. RAF and WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Corps) camps will also have facilities, near the site of a replica Spitfire 1:1 fighter. The Army Rifle Stadium in Lobzy will feature air and ground troops as well as Czech Army special forces. “A lot of the equipment will then join the convoy Sunday morning,” said Milan Sklenář, director of the regional military headquarters. Due to the current international situation and the fulfillment of military duties, the presentation concept may change.
The commemoration event on Thursday, May 5, and on May 6 starting at 4 pm, will conclude with a meeting at the “Thank you America!” He will be accompanied by a flight of period planes, such as the Hawker Hurricane, which will be presented at Pilsen for the first time.
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