The inauguration of a memorial gravestone in memory of Turkmenistan's heroes who lost in the battle for Leningrad on the Leningrad, Volhovsk and Karelsk fronts was one of the remarkable events of celebration of the 61st anniversary of the Great Victory Day in St Petersburg, Turkmendowlethabarlary state news agency (TDH) reports.
The inauguration was held at the Piskarev Memorial Cemetery, the world's biggest cemetery of WWII victims. The remains of 420 thousand Leningrad citizens who died of hunger and bombardments and 70 thousand soldiers-defenders of Leningrad rest in 186 common graves in the cemetery. Veterans of the Great Patriotic War, representatives of the St Petersburg government, various enterprises and organizations and national-cultural autonomies of the city on the Neva gathered at the Monument to Motherland in the central lane of the cemetery.
At the ceremony, Turkmenistan was represented by the staff of the Turkmen Embassy in the Russian Federation, heads of the St Petersburg, Moscow and Voronezh regional Turkmen culture associations - subsidiary organizations of the State Associations of Turkmens of the World, numerous representatives of Turkmen diaspora living in St Petersburg and Turkmen students educated in local universities.
A guard of honor of the St Petersburg garrison is lined up at the memorial gravestone. The state anthems of Russia and Turkmenistan are played. The green cloth is taken off the marble stone and the ceremony participants see an inscription in Russian and Turkmen languages saying "Let Turkmenistan's heroes who died in the battles for Leningrad be remembered."
Wreaths are laid on the memorial gravestone. There are wreaths from Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov, St Petersburg governor Valentina Matvienko, Turkmenistan Embassy in the Russian Federation, Turkmen WWII veterans, subsidiaries of State Association of Turkmens of the World in St Petersburg - Association of Turkmen Culture "Mekan", students of Turkmenistan.
Those speaking at the ceremony noted that in the battle of Leningrad as well as in all other battles of the Great Patriotic War sons and daughters of Turkmenistan fought against dangerous enemy shoulder to shoulder with representatives of other nationalities. In this war, many of them sacrificed to the Victory over fascism the most precious thing they had - their lives. Speakers noted with satisfaction that from now on there is a memorial stone at the Piskarev Memorial Cemetery where one can bow to the feat of arms of Turkmenistan's heroes and pay respect to their blessed memory. The words of sincere gratitude were addressed to the St Petersburg government, public organizations of the city and region, youth and veterans for their attention to Turkmenistan and assistance in installation of the memorial gravestone.
Later, the consecration of the memorial gravestone was held by Jafyar Porchayev, chairman of the St Petersburg's religious department of Muslims of Russia's northwest, and archpriest father Alexander, member of the St Petersburg eparchy council.
In the end of the ceremony, flowers were laid on the memorial gravestone from the grateful citizens of St Petersburg who were then invited to the House of Nationalities for a remembering dinner, sadaka, offered on behalf of the President of Turkmenistan.