My morning commute was interrupted yesterday by a roadblock. I saw lots of policemen and a camera crew, but there didn't seem to be an accident. As I got out of the bus to continue on foot, I remembered that I was near the "Piskarevskoye" Memorial Cemetary, which contains the graves of about 470,000 WWII casualties, about 420,000 of those- civilians. I heard the booming of the loudspeaker in the distance as a memorial service was getting underway.
Today is May 9th, "Victory Day" in Russia. When I was young, I had never heard of this holiday, although I'm sure I memorized the date in History class.
It's a big Russian holiday, especially to those few veterans who remain. But it isn't my story to tell. If you want to know more (about the history, not just the holiday), there are plenty of resources on the the Internet. I published a YouTube video on here earlier accidentally, and there are others like it. Or better yet, ask a Russian friend what the date means to him and his family.
Something about Russian patriotism is frightening to me. The fluttering of the Russian flag gives me goosebumps. It's not that there is anything inherently wrong with the idea of "homeland," I just will never quite grasp the Russian understanding. I don't think I will ever have that same "it's in my blood" feeling. There is such a rich culture of poetry and music here that I just don't have in connection with my native country.
Anyway, I suppose we are all patriotic, to a certain extent. While recalling things that make me feel patriotic, I think first of sports. Then I think of men in uniform. Isn't there something about a man in uniform? (There are exceptions here, especially in cases where authority is abused)
I suppose I like to know that someone is willing to fight for my safety. It doesn't really have anything to do with my country of origin or where I live. This verse comes to mind: "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Ex.14:14) Now, this is not meant to downplay the courage of men or imply that there is nothing to do. But my God is the only hero whom I can truly count on.
I believe that Christ already has the victory, but that doesn't mean that we will not face battles of various kinds. He himself warned that it would be difficult. So I need to know that the Lord is on my side, my main defender.