## Saturday, May 01, 2010

### Liberation of Pilsen by the U.S. army: 65 years

It's been 65 years since the 16th Armored Division of General Patton's 3rd Army liberated my hometown.

Also participating in the liberation of the city were elements of the 97th and 2nd Infantry Divisions. It just happens that the new logo of the Pilsner ice-hockey team, HC Plzeň 1929 - one that won the presidential trophy of the Czech ice-hockey extraleague this year, before we failed in the play-off - is strikingly similar to the native American from the logo of the division. However, an exhibition that just opens today claims that the history of the Pilsner Indian go back to 1915.

The liberation festivities are getting started again. Lots of the soldiers who are getting pretty old are attending the events once again.

Unfortunately, embedding has been banned for the video above. So you must watch it at YouTube. Exactly twenty years ago, just half a year after the Czechs and Slovaks emerged from 40 years of socialism, we celebrated the anniversary for the first time in the modern history.

The song by Mr Jan Vyčítal [Yan Vyh-chee-tull] is called "Back in those old times of 1945" (I try to emulate the complicated way how "Back in 1945" is used in the title). It remembers the troops who brought the Coke and chewing gum to Pilsen (my Australian uncle just told me 2 days ago - when we met after a decade - that "chewinggum" was his first English word haha) and who were singing the Czech and American songs as well as the 40 years when teachers would teach children to say that Czechoslovakia was only liberated by the Red Army.

Most of the U.S. military was relocated in front of our house in Pilsen-Lobzy for the TRF readers to be able to look at 65 pictures of military vehicles that I just took.

By the number of U.S. flags and the energy consumed by their waving in the video above, you could almost think that it's a party of the Tea Party Movement somewhere in the Southern U.S., couldn't you? :-) I guess that the energy will be somewhat lower today, 20 years later, but many of the events look very attractive.