In honor of the Russian holiday, we had a day off, plus a rare opportunity to join the celebration in Baikonur Town. It was a beautiful day and a treat to see so many people in town.

For those who need to know, here is a short history lesson …

The Soviet Victory Day or May 9 marks the anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi Germany in the former Soviet Union in the Second World War. It was first inaugurated in the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union, following the signing of the surrender document in the evening hours of May 8, 1945. However, because of the time difference, it was May 9 in Moscow. Officially, the observance has taken place since 1946, although it has only become a non-labor day since 1965.

For 2010, this anniversary marks the 65th year of the surrender of Germany, which brought large celebrations in many areas. Parades in Moscow displayed examples of military hardware, along with a grand fireworks finale. And for the first time ever, soldiers of other allied countries marched in celebration with Russian armed forces. Military members of the countries of Great Britain, France, and the United States paraded alongside Russian servicemen and women.

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