Ave, Sandum Citizens!
Sandus has celebrated the 69th anniversary of Victory over Fascism by the Allied Forces in World War II as a part of the general celebration of Remembrance Day and for the Sandum cultural traditions surrounding the holiday. The Sôgmô and the new peregro citizen A. Indurti stayed up into the early morning of 9 May to watch the Russian military march down Red Square, a Sandum tradition on this particular day. The holiday dates to May 2010 when Victory Day was celebrated due to a political and cultural decision to align the then-Democratic People’s Republic of Sandus (Apr. – Aug. 2010) with the Socialist culture of the former Soviet Union and the jubilant nature of the holiday, especially for a Socialist people who overcame a desperate national invasion and the vast killing of peoples in war. The fall of the highly ideological DPRS resulted in a 9 May holiday less focused on the politics of the holiday and more on the commemoration of war dead. In May 2011, the State of Sandus – a new government at that point – expanded the focus of the holiday to stay in line with its Socialist roots and also to include the Sancta holiday of the Lemuria — an ancient Roman festival to the lemures, or the spirits of the dead who died in war. Thus, Remembrance Day was established as the key celebration of war dead and all ancestors of Sandus, both in blood and in mind.
Sandus upholds several traditions for this holiday and the broader festival of the Lemuria: desserts such as blueberry vatrushki, customs such as watching the military march down Red Square in Moscow, and a large banquet dinner with Russian delicacies. Though 9 May is Remembrance Day, the Lemuria is a broader festival from 7 to 15 May and is observed on odd numbered days (7, 9, 11, 13, 15). This year, the Sôgmô will be visiting on 15 May the American Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, and will attend the proper rites for the Lemuria at the grave of Army Spc. David J. Babineau (d. June 26, 2006 in Baghdad, Iraq), the Sôgmô’s cousin. For Remembrance Day, the Sôgmô will address the Sandum people late in the evening on 9 May and observe, for a second time, this year’s march on Red Square.
Since May 2010, there has been annual intermicronational controversy over Sandus’s holiday of Remembrance Day. Critics argue that Sandus unfairly ignores the contributions of other Allied powers other than the Soviet Union and that Sandus glorifies the Soviet Union while ignoring the informal empire or hegemony of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe during the Cold War — claims that Sandus maintains are political attacks on Sandum culture and Sandum traditions. Since 2011, the State of Sandus has recognised the involvement of other Allied powers in World War II beyond the Soviet Union and has acknowledged publicly atrocities committed by the Red Army while marching towards Berlin. From Sandus’s point of view, Remembrance Day is a Sandum traditional holiday – one of the most important holidays in Sandum culture – because of its roots as a Socialist holiday from the era of the Soviet Union and also because of its celebration of both victory and peace as a result of hard work and struggles. The Office of the Sôgmô will respond to this year’s controversy later in the evening.