It was almost 70 years ago that Soviet and American troops met near the German city of Torgau. There on the river Elbe, both nations joined together in what would be the turning point of World War II. Within weeks the war was over and victory over the Nazi’s was achieved. While much is known about the famous “May 9 Victory Day”, celebrated en masse throughout Eastern Europe, Elbe day is often a forgotten milestone in the collection of memorable moments of the war.
The Russian-American Community Center of Florida is looking to bring awareness to the significance of Soviet and American forces, fighting alongside each other, to achieve victory. During April 2015, the center along with numerous affiliate groups throughout the state of Florida will sponsor a 1500 mile road rally traveling through cities throughout the state and nation in a motorcade of volunteers.
View of the custom painted lead car in the World War II victory tribute road rally. [Shown Below]
The Rally, will make stops at various points to distribute flyers and honor veterans from post Soviet and American forces. The route includes organized stops in Naples, Miami, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Talahassee. While at the state capital, they will lay a wreath at the World War II monument. From there the group continues north to Atlanta, GA where they will meet up with local activists to distribute flyers and show their exhibits. The final leg of the journey continues to Arlington cemetery in Washington, DC.
A special ceremony will take place at Arlington, and the group will be there to lay another wreath at the Spirit of the Elbe plaque. Many World War II veterans will be in attendance, including some from Florida. The rally will conclude at the Russian Embassy where a special reception has been arranged via the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.
“The timeliness of remembering the joint victory of our joint nation’s heroes is clearly relevant when the media is constantly advocating a sense of mistrust between our nations.” said Jef Gray, President of the Russian-American Community Center. “Surely, we can look back at our veterans who worked together against fascism and realize the value and necessity of continued partnership.”
Look for rally stops near your location via the planned route below: