About 90,000 people visited this year´s Liberation Festival Pilsen. The event, attended by three American and four Belgian veterans, three Czechoslovakian veterans, son of the commanding officer of the 17ème belge bataillon des fusiliers, General Patton’s grandson, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium and the United States of America to the Czech Republic and other distinguished guests, with the highlight on Sunday afternoon with a memorial act at a restored monument Thank you, America!
„Every day 20 to 25 thousand people were in the center. We saw significantly more tourists, not only from other regions of the Czech Republic, but also from abroad“, said the Mayor of the City of Pilsen Martin Zrzavecký. The most attractive part of the program was the vintage military vehicle Convoy of liberty parading through the city watched by 20 000 spectators on Saturday. Thousands of people visited military camps and other program, even the events of the accompanying program were attended by crowds of people.
The main attention was focused on veterans who were 73 years ago part of the army liberating Pilsen. Men over 90 years had a special program. They participated in a series of commemorative acts, discussions with the public, inspected the campsites or attended the Convoy of Liberty. „We were very lucky to come to Pilsen. The three thousand men of our 2nd Infantry Division did not have such a fortune, and we are here to remember them, “ said James Duncan at one of the commemorative events.
The words thanking to the living and deceased veterans were also heard during Sunday’s main commemorative act at the memorial Thank you, America! ending up the official program of the Liberation Festival Pilsen 2018. Earl Ingram representing the 2nd Infantry Division delivered a speech for the veterans „We should never forget that one of the worst men who ever walked planet earth in the 20th century came to power through ballots. If we are interested in who is leading us, we will not make the same mistake then, and there will never be need to build such monuments as we are standing right now in front of, “ said Earl Ingram.