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Lidice shall live - 80th anniversary

On June 12, 2022, Consul General Jaroslav Kantůrek attended the Lidice Memorial Park in Crest Hill, Illinois, for the annual memorial service for the victims of the Lidice tragedy. The event is traditionally organized by the Czechoslovak American Congress in collaboration with the Illinois Senate, the mayor of Crest Hill, and other expatriate associations. Members of the Senate delegation led by President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Miloš Vystrčil, placed wreaths to the memorial on Sunday, June 6, 2022. The Consul General attended another memorial gathering in Phillips, Wisconsin on Friday, June 17, 2022.

The monument in Crest Hill, Illinois is unique in that it is the first place in the world where a local citizen, Dominico Romano, renamed a section of the city to Lidice (now Lidice Memorial Park) two days after the Lidice tragedy, and a large protest rally with tens of thousands of people was held here in July 1942. At the time exiled President Beneš, who was lecturing at the University of Chicago at the time, also attended the memorial service in 1943.

The Czechoslovak-American Congress organizes the annual commemorative ceremony in Crest Hill, the American Sokol Guard provide the ceremonial laying of wreaths; anthems and another musical program is regularly delivered by singers from Moravian organizations. This year, students from the Czech T.G.M. School read poems by authors from Terezín. The ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Lidice catastrophe was well attended by locals and countrymen.

Ingrid Chybík, a local witness, Crest Hill Mayor Raymond Soliman, local government officials, and Senator Eric Mattson addressed the crowd at Lidice Memorial Park in Crest Hill, launching a statement from the Illinois Senate commemorating the 80th anniversary of the annihilation of Lidice. Other speakers, including the Consul General, spoke about the present events in Ukraine, our support and solidarity, and the importance of actively defending freedom and democracy around the world.

The Mayor of Crest Hill also expressed his gratitude for the Senate delegation's visit, the President of the Senate's speech, and the wreath-laying ceremony in Crest Hill on Sunday, June 6, 2022. The Senate President Miloš Vystrčil, Senators Pavel Fischer and Tomáš Czernin, as well as representatives of the Academy of Sciences Ondřej Beránek and Radomír Pánek were present. The Czech media, notably Czech Television, ČT24, Czech Radio, and Radio Prague International, covered both remembrance events in Crest Hill.

On Friday, June 17, 2022, another commemorative event was held in Phillips, Wisconsin, in the presence of the Consul General, where the first commemorative event was held in 1943 and a memorial was built a year later in 1944. Wreaths were laid at the Lidice Memorial in the nearby Sokol Memorial Park after Mass at the local church (First Baptist Church). Mrs. Charlotte Brendel, the Lidice Memorial Service's longtime chairwoman, deserves a lot of credit for keeping this tradition alive, as well as the monument itself.

The 37th annual traditional Czech and Slovak community festival, organized by Bill and Vernette Moravek, took place in Phillips on Saturday, June 18, 2022. The festival also featured a market with stalls from expatriate organizations and companies selling Czech items, culinary specialties, as well as music and dance acts. An election of Miss Czech-Slovak Wisconsin 2022 was held that day. 


Senat 658 KB PDF (Adobe Acrobat document) Jun 23, 2022