Members of the Baltic community, representatives from the Royal British Legion and councillors from Northampton Borough Council will gather for the unveiling of a memorial bench in memory of the Baltic States’ contribution during Second World War at Abington Park on Sunday July 12.
This year is the 70th anniversary of the end Second World War, referred to by many in Eastern Europe as the Great Patriotic War, and the bench is to remember the contribution and sacrifice of the Baltic States during the conflict.
Mr Arturs Dedels approached Northampton Borough Council in April to ask if a memorial bench could be placed in Abington Park in memory of the Baltic States contribution during this 70th anniversary year. The council was happy to oblige and the old rose garden in the lower park was selected as an ideal location.
Mr Dedels contacted his Baltic States compatriots to raise all of the money needed for the bench and dedication plaque, which reads: “1941-1945, Victory Day 9 May We remember! We are proud!”
Mr Dedels, local Baltic States WWII veterans and dignitaries, members of Northampton Borough Council, the Mayor of Northampton councillor Penelope Flavell and representatives from the Royal British Legion will gather for the unveiling and dedication of the memorial bench.
Mr Dedels said: “The 9th May Victory Day is a big and important day for us. It is a time to remember our ancestors and all those who laid down their lives for the peaceful sky above us. We must keep their memory alive in our hearts and minds and teach our children about their ancestors.
“My grandfather, Stanislav Dedels, served in the Great Patriotic War and I share his story with my children. I am very happy that we have this memorial bench to remember them.”
Councillor Mary Markham, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “We were more than happy to help with this. The bench is a lovely idea and, with this being the 70th anniversary, the timing is perfect. I hope it provides a nice spot for people from the Baltic States community to remember the contribution of their countrymen and women, and be proud.”
Phillip York, chairman of Royal British Legion Northampton branch, said: “It is a great privilege for us to be part of the unveiling of the memorial bench. It is chance for us to honour and remember all their fallen comrades. I do hope the people of Northampton will come along and show their support for them as they do for our own fallen and veterans, as this is a wonderful opportunity for us to all come together and remember.”