Editor’s Word - Four Anniversaries

11-12 2009 Slovo redakce English
obálka čísla

On September 28 we commemorated the feast of St. Wenceslas, patron of the Czech Lands. In the last double issue, we published a poem by Josef Fousek about the possible thoughts of the statue on Wenceslas Square that must have seen so much …

On October 28, we celebrated the 91st anniversary of the founding of the Czechoslovak Republic by Tomas G. Masaryk, Rostislav Stefanik, along with the help and support of friends from the USA.

Our small delegation consisting of only three women, celebrated this occasion along with many other Czechs and Slovaks in the beautiful town of Kosice. We took part in placing flowers and wreaths at the memorial of these wonderful men. What a difference between these men and our current politicians! It was not even formal or official. The patron of the memorial was the basic school from the TG Masaryk Street and the pupils along with their young teacher came over and presented a very touching program. It brought tears to my colleague’s eyes and mine.

We had two get-togethers in our Czech Center where we showed two films. One was about Karel Hasler and the other one about the Czech legions in Russia. The response was very encouraging. Czechs as well as Slovaks attended. After the film about the legions ended, people brought pictures of their ancestors who were in the legions, shared family histories etc. I cannot speak for other places in Slovakia, but I feel that Kosice still remains Czechoslovak.

The third anniversary was that of Karel Hasler October 30, - 130 years since his birth. After 8 years of effort, running around and begging for money, we were finally able to finish and unveil his memorial right at the Old Castle Steps about which he wrote such a beautiful song. It took place on October 31st at 2 pm. There were so many people, that it was impossible for us to get up there, because of the crowd. We had to take the tram to the castle in order to reach the place from the other direction.

The unveiling was very dignified. Speeches, music, but unfortunately a mistake had been made. Karel Hasler’s third son, Thomas was not allowed entrance to Richter’s Villa, where he had been invited for refreshments along with other VIP personages. He did not receive an invitation. He, an American knew nothing about an invitation, knew no Czech and so could not understand why he was barred entrance. After a few embarrassing moments he left and went to another pub, as he later said. Even I had a problem getting in since I left the invitation at home. Ivo Zelenka was contacted and started putting things to rights. All too late came a representative from the city hall and scolded the young porter for being too conscientious and as a result almost causing an international scandal.

Fortunately, after warming up a bit, we ran down the steps and found Thomas having coffee in a restaurant in Klarov. We sat together and had a good time so it all ended well.

Now the best part is the last. The celebrations commemorating the 20th anniversary of freedom were a great success. There were celebrations all over the country, programs and events in the streets and city squares, concerts and speeches. The former president Vaclav Havel received the biggest applause as a carrier of Joan Baez’s guitar. She sang at the Prague Crossroads, Narodni Trida, as well as during a program where she commented upon the developments in our society. My last comment is that I quite agree with the article by Jakub Zahradnik about our Velvet Revolution. I also am very happy to be free. On the other hand the corruption and criminality among our politicians truly disturbs me. However, that’s not the theme of today’s Word. You can find that information in other articles and on the Internet.

Eva Střížovská

Vydavatelem Českého dialogu je Mezinárodní český klub

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