Post Soviet countries commemorate the victory of the Great Patriotic War with a giant victory parade in Moscow's Red Square. If those killed during the terrible four years of war were to partake in that parade it would take them 19 days to walk through the square.
On June 24, 1945, i.e. 69 years ago, it was pouring heavily in Moscow. Nevertheless, even such ferial weather could not disrupt the planned event - the Victory Parade had to be held on Red Square.
It was the fourth year of the war, an exhausting fight that had brought death to millions of people. When the war started, no one thought it would take so long, and that the next generation would know it as the most bloody and brutal battle in the history of mankind.
Even those who started the war did not seem quite aware of the magnitude of that crime. The names of those who never saw the spring and summer and never loved and were loved again hangs forever in the air, the air that smells of exploding shells.
The Second World War lasted from 1939 to 1945, and involved the vast majority of the world's nations -including all of the great powers- eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis.
The turning point in the war for the allied forces began after the Battle of Kursk. This battle, which lasted 50 days and nights from July 5 to August 23, 1943, has no equal in its ferocity and tenacity.
In the winter of 1945, the Soviet army's soldiers entered Germany, a country that had become the root of evil in this war.
A young Azerbaijani man, who had abandoned his family and gone off to fight for freedom and justice, was among them.
More than 600,000 people from Azerbaijan participated in the World War II, or as it called in former Soviet Union - Great Patriotic War.
He took part in many battles and saw different countries. Everywhere, the soldier met weeping women who had lost their breadwinners in this terrible conflict and ragged children who did not see the joys of childhood.
These children had large, sad and pensive eyes, just like adults. Children should not have such eyes, the soldier thought; they must be mischievous, and full of sparks! It was worth fighting for these children.
The path of the soldier wound through parched villages and towns razed to the ground. Oppressed by the war and hating it to the marrow of their bones, people fed him, sharing their last loaf of bread. It was worth fighting for these people.
It was worth fighting for everything - for a child's smile, for love, for friendship, and for sunlight. And the soldier was rushing into another battle.
When the battle was almost over, the soldier arrived in Berlin. The Germans had fled the city. Believing in the invincibility of the Reich, they had left all their possessions. And even after they have left their homes full of hatred to enemies, they could harm them.
Trustful soldiers ate the dishes left by the Germans before they had abandoned their homes. The soldiers were ignorant of the enemy's sinister intentions. All the food was poisoned and brought certain death to anyone who ate it.
Many cunning traps were set, but the victory, a great victory, was won. The victory that put an end to the war cost millions of lives and broken fates -- some lost their parents, while others lost their children.
On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler, leader or Fuehrer of the Nazi Germany, committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin. Germany's surrender, therefore, was authorized by his successor, Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz. The act of military surrender was signed in Reims, France, on May 7, and in Berlin, Germany, on May 8.
On May 9, our soldier celebrated this victory with others. Now he could go home, and nothing more threatened the happiness of his family.
Some time after the great victory, trees turned green again, children began to smile, and adults grew happy. But no one has forgotten that victory was won at the cost of heavy sacrifices.
The Second World War was a terrible ordeal for mankind, and Azerbaijan has made a worthy contribution to the victory over fascism.
During the war, Azerbaijan provided 80 percent of the oil used by USSR. Thus, all the products used for planes, tanks, trucks, armored vehicles, and other military equipment came from the Absheron Peninsula.
In memory of all Azerbaijanis who participated in the World War II, Azerbaijan celebrates May 9 as the Victory Day every year.