On the eve of Day of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet people against nazi Germany which is marked, in line with tradition, on May 9th, the leaders of the Russian state will lay wreaths at the Unknown Soldier's Tomb in Alexandrovsky Garden near the Kremlin wall.
The Unknown Soldier's Tomb memorial architectural ensemble in memory of the fallen in fighting was opened exactly 36 years ago - on May 8, 1967. The memorial was erected in the place of the burial of the remains of an Unknown Soldier who perished in the fights near Kryukovo village in the 40th kilometre of the Leningrad highway, whence the triumphant march of the Soviet troops to Berlin started.
The soldier's remains were carried to the Kremlin wall in December of 1966, on the days of the 25th anniversary of the rout of the Hitler troops near Moscow.
The Eternal Flame of Glory was kindled at the Tomb. It burns in the middle of the bronze star placed in the centre of the polished black square made of labradorite, framed by a red-granite landing.
"Your name is unknown but your feat is immortal," reads the epitaph on the granite plate of the gravestone of the Unknown Soldier's Tomb. A wall made of crimson quartzite with the inscription "To the Fallen for the Homeland. 1941-1945" is to the left of the gravestone.
Blocks made of dark-red porphyry are put in a row on a rather low granite pedestal along the Kremlin wall to the right, with the urns under them containing the holy earth of the hero cities - Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Volgograd, Sevastopol, Odessa, Kerch, Novorossiisk, Murmansk, the Brest Fortress, Tula and Smolensk.
Each block bears the name of a city and a chased picture of the Gold Star medal.
The gravestone of the memorial tomb is crowned with a large-size bronze composition - a soldier's helmet and a laurel branch lying on a combat banner.
Memory of the Soviet soldiers' heroism during the Great Patriotic War is perpetuated by many structures, among them the Unknown Soldier's Tombs in a number of cities of Russia.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.