28th October – 101st Anniversary of Czechoslovakia

28th October – 101st Anniversary of Czechoslovakia
Author: www.army.cz|Caption: Mi-24/35 over the Vítkov National Monument
31 / 10 / 2019, 10:00

On 28th October, a commemoration ceremony at the Honorary Court of the National Monument at Vítkov in Prague started the celebrations of the 101st anniversary of the establishment of independent Czechoslovakia. President Zeman honored 42 personalities and awarded them with state decorations. Almost a quarter of them are tied to the military. He also appointed three new brigadier generals.

As per tradition the event was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Defence, the Army, war veterans and leading representatives of the Republic, president Miloš Zeman, chairman of the Senate Jaroslav Kubera, chairman of the Chamber of Deputies Radek Vondráček and members of the Government.

Two JAS-39 Gripen jets and three Mi-24/35 helicopters passed above the monument, and the delegations laid wreaths to the grave of the Unknown Soldier to honor the memory of soldiers killed in the struggle for freedom and independence. "It is an honor and it is the most important holiday and day of the year for the Czech Republic," Minister of Defence said.

See also: The Czech military history and museums

On the same day, president Zeman honored 42 personalities and awarded them with state decorations. Almost a quarter of them are tied to the military. They are heroes and veterans of World War II, army cynologist who fell last year in Afghanistan, or historian of the Military History Institute in Prague.

Army General Emil Bocek was awarded with the White Lion Order military group 1st class. He is the last Czech surviving RAF fighter pilot. During World War II he served in Great Britain with the 310th Fighter Squadron. The same decoration was awarded, in memoriam, to Bohuslav Ečer, General of the Judicial Service and Professor of International Criminal Law, actively opposed the oncoming Nazism, publicly agitating for the armed emergency of Czechoslovakia. After World War II, Ečer played an important role in detecting war criminals; Major General Josef Ocelka who became one of the founding members of the 311th Bombing Squadron RAF; and Lieutenant General Jaroslav Selner was a Czechoslovak resistance fighter, commander of the 3rd Czechoslovak Independent Brigade in the Soviet Union and a hero from Tobruk.

Medals for Heroism were awarded to Lieutenant Božena Ivanová, member of the 2nd Independent Brigade in the USSR; Colonel Jarmila Halbrštátová, who participated in the fighting for Sokolovo, Kiev, Zaškov, etc.; Ensign Tomáš Procházka in memoriam, who gave his own life in the service of his homeland in Afghanistan, and Kurt Taussig, in memoriam, hero of World War II and RAF pilot.

The Medal of Merit was awarded to Jiří Rajlich, President of the Czech Commission for Military History, Historian and Director of the Department of Historical and Documentation of the Military History Institute Prague.

See also: Army Museum in Prague – complex reconstruction to accomodate complex history (2020)

President Miloš Zeman also appointed three new brigadier generals.

The ceremony in the Throne Hall was attended by members of the Government and other representatives of the state. Among them was the Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar, who justified the proposals by the fact that they are exemplary professionals who are significantly involved in the performance of the military tasks and significantly contributed to the implementation of the reform of the Czech Armed Forces.

See also: General Petr Pavel – small army must rely on quality

They are: Director of the Human Resources Agency Vratislav Beran, the commander of the Cyber ​​Force and Information Operations Command Miroslav Feix, and the director of the Military History Institute Prague, Aleš Knížek.

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