On June 22 1941, 3.5 million German troops began their invasion of Russia, a nation unprepared for Hitler's advance because Stalin refused to believe the intelligence he received.
We were in St. Petersburg on that day this year and watched troops parade in the square in front of The Hermitage.
There was also a display of WW ll vehicles and men in uniforms from that era posing with the many who wanted pictures.
Two things struck us.
First, that the Russian, our allies, recall when they were caught unaware with far more pageantry than we remember Pearl Harbor. Second, that WW ll is being recalled in a most official manner, where we in the states have rather relegated it to Turner Classic Movies on Memorial Day weekend.
On a side note, there were also opportunities for kids to hold old time weapons which many seemed eager to do. I watched a cluster of kiddos holding rifles and other long guns and thought - where do you think you are? Texas?