Reception in honour of Victory Day 2014-05-08 20:30:00 The Kremlin, Moscow A reception was held at the Kremlin on the eve of the 69th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Vladimir Putin congratulated war veterans on the upcoming holiday. Earlier in the day, the President attended a concert held at the Grand Kremlin Palace in honour of the Great Victory anniversary. * * * President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear veterans, friends, Once more, I congratulate you from all my heart on tomorrow’s Victory Day holiday. The years go by but May 9 remains our grandest and most cherished holiday, a date we always celebrate with joy and emotion, with deep awareness of this historic event’s tremendous significance and with pride for our fathers and grandfathers, who vanquished Nazism. We feel the special strength of our country’s unity during these days. The sacred memory of our heroes known and unknown unites us all. We are united in our immense gratitude to you, the veterans, and bow our heads before the generation of victors. You were very much aware that life during the war might be measured in mere minutes or even seconds, but you spared no sacrifice for the sake of victory. You showed what it means to be a true citizen of your country and proved to the entire world that love for one’s homeland is stronger than the cruellest enemy, and in those difficult war years the people gained their freedom through unity and sacrifice in overcoming all trials. You achieved the impossible on the frontlines and on the home front, shared everything you had and showed mercy and patience. The Volga regions, the Urals, Siberia, the Far East and the republics of Central Asia and the Trans-Caucasus became a new home for thousands of evacuees. Everyone lived as one big family then and the main values were mutual aid and understanding, empathy, endurance, and the brotherhood of soldiers. This unity of a multi-ethnic people with different faiths was the greatest legacy of our victory. It is our duty to our forefathers to preserve and strengthen it now. This is our duty before those who defended our homeland, brought freedom to the peoples of Europe, and rid the world of Nazism. I bow low before you, dear veterans. Allow me to raise a toast: To the victorious soldiers! To a strong and flourishing Russia! To our great victory!