Vyacheslav Chernov, civic activist
"We can repeat" is already so near at hand. And I thought of those who were crippled by that war. Literally. Physically. Left without a hand, without a leg, or even without a pair of arms and legs. Without an eye, without an ear. To the blind. Fingerless. With a disfigured face, with a broken skull. With a body that looks like it's scary to be stripped in front of a mirror. If those who did not receive serious injuries had some opportunity, at least for a while, to forget about the horrors of war, then millions of people crippled did not have such an opportunity. The legless man could not walk through the dew of a calm, serene morning. The blind man could not look into the peaceful blue sky. The deaf could not listen to the joyful chirping of birds. Armless could not hug a comrade on the anniversary of the victory.
A huge army of cripples. Who needed them in the coming peace time? When the task of rebuilding the country is especially urgent, it is necessary to build up industrial potential at an accelerated pace and raise agriculture. It’s hard already. And then there they are.
With what burden of guilt did they live their short life? With a burning resentment, scrolling through that fatal moment over and over, more and more asserting itself in the memory that some foreboding literally a few moments before the tragedy prompted them to move for cover, crawl to the left, stop the car or vice versa - put pressure on gas ... Their own body served them for a continuous reminder of the horrors of war and nothing could be done about it.
Even if, after 70 years, the country was not able to solve the elementary housing problem for the few surviving veterans, let alone the care that it could surround the disabled right after the war ended. What did he feel - a footless soldier sitting on a makeshift gurney by a busy sidewalk, looking up at the shamelessly turning away eyes of passers-by, weighed down by concern for their own food?
Just yesterday, his blood poured on frozen ground and the country needed it so much that it was necessary that he put all his will into a fist, exert his last strength and let him not run - at least limp in that attack. Everything depended on it. And he felt his responsibility for everything. And here it is peacetime. And it is not able to bear responsibility for him - the one who did not spare himself so that this peace time would come.
In the network it is easy to find information about the number of those mutilated by that war. But even without this, it is easy to imagine how huge this number was. What a variety of mutilations wore millions of winners. And I am sure that the cherished dream of each of these people was to experience a peaceful life. Become her full accomplice. But it was already impossible for them.
You know what would be the best commemorative tribute for the heroes of that war? Fulfill their cherished dream. To provide a comfortable and happy peaceful life to those who, due to any restrictions, are not able to do this on their own. To create a comfortable environment for those who now, in peacetime, live as if in war, performing a feat daily, overcoming the hostility of those conditions that represent Russian reality.
Shouting back to the past to those whose life even after the war remained a heavy clot of suffering and pain: “We have not forgotten how painful you were. We were unable to help you, but we did everything so that your unfortunate comrades today would not bear the burden of suffering until the end of their days, as happened to you. Today, they have access to the best medical services, a comfortable urban environment that is convenient and safe to use, a public transport system provides them with the same mobility and comfort as healthy people, and the social service ensures that the accessibility of cultural and social activity for people with limited mobility is not inferior those opportunities that are physically full. You didn’t crawl in vain in that attack, you didn’t wheeze in that battle for nothing. You fought death to conquer life. And life has triumphed. Here she is. Quiet, peaceful, calm, comfortable, caring, happy. She will no longer turn away from the weak, being unable to help. The weak no longer lives with a burning sense of guilt and resentment. Injustice no longer whips him every day on the cheeks. We are so sorry and sad that you, the heroes of that war, had to live with it, but today everything is different. We were able, we have overcome. ”
But we can’t shout anything like that back there. We can only lower our eyes and hurriedly run through the crowd with a portrait on a stick. We can only disguise our moral inferiority, our physical disability with camouflage from ribbons, balls and catchy banners. We can only repeat from year to year that all the people have turned into a blind, deaf, dumb, armless, legless disabled person asking for alms from fate.
A couple of months ago, upon leaving the (free) natural history museum in Geneva, I watched with curiosity how a special machine with an elevator brought several elderly people with limited mobility to visit the museum. Social workers carefully helped them to leave the car and drove the strollers of those who did not have an electric drive to the entrance. I thought - how mundane it should be for me to be here, perhaps for the first and last time in my life, to witness this scene. There were no correspondents with cameras, they did not click shutters, they did not interview anyone. And we all know what pathos our officials turn into handing a packet of pasta to a veteran. I will never forget those impressions when in the central square of a tiny French town I was fascinated to watch a dozen happy, laughing loud wheelchairs who were sitting in their strollers at a specially equipped huge table of a street restaurant.
What is war in its essence? This is an impudent statement from the side of the strong, addressed to the weak - you have no right to happiness, you have no right to life itself. And during the war, the party, which was deliberately denied the right to life, proves that she does not agree with this formulation of the question. The party which is denied the right to happiness answers: no, here you are very mistaken, I have the right to life and to happiness in this life no less than you. And we consider unconditional heroism precisely those moments when, overcoming his weakness, a person triumphs over his superior ability, power.
Do you know what is the key sign of a deadly disease in any society? This is a society where they no longer stand up for the weak. Where support is always on the strong side. Where the weak, instead of uniting and becoming strong, run headlong to minded to the strong, rich and powerful, who are used to spread rot and parasitize them. Where the victim of violence is necessarily kicked when it is already immobilized, and the rapist is praised as the winner.
Such a society with inevitable inevitability will turn any sorrowful memory into a demonstration of strength and superiority. In the triumph of the might of the strong, from the road of which the weak must get off to the side of the road, get out of sight, not to bother with his requests and whining. Isn't that what all of these, pouring out from a cornucopia, the statements of officials and media people? That the weak and needy should get stuck under the baseboard from which, every few years, they will be lured by a pack of buckwheat and free ice cream to put a tick in the newsletter, or participate in the crowd for a colorful television picture and photo report...