Czechia honors fallen World War I soldiers on Veterans' Day

Prime ministers of Czechia and Slovakia laid wreaths in Prague to commemorate World War I victims.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 11.11.2022 11:44:00 (updated on 11.11.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala along with his Slovak counterpart Eduard Heger paid tribute this morning to war veterans and volunteers in the Czechoslovak Legion as part of Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I. Both statesmen laid wreaths at the Czechoslovak Legionnaires Memorial in Prague’s Nové Město.

Today is known as War Veterans’ Day in Czechia, which marks the signing of a ceasefire in 1918 that put an official end to World War I. The date has been commemorated in Czechia since 2001. 


A traditional memorial ceremony takes place at Prague’s Vítkov Hill, and this afternoon will also see a tribute take place on Prague’s Peace Square (Náměstí Míru), where there will be a small military procession. 

The procession, which gets underway at 2 p.m, features a display of old military equipment used in the war. For the first time ever, the Czech-made AP-25 Bivoj drone will be shown to the public.

Visitors will be able to place crosses, poppies, and flowers at the square. Children from elementary schools in the area can also submit images and messages of support for current troops abroad.

Commemorations and gatherings will also take place in other towns and cities, such as Brno and Liberec. Brno authorities planted a field of poppies in the city center to mark this day.

The Post Bellum organization, which helps coordinate Armistice Day commemorations, will illuminate several buildings in Prague, Ostrava, Pilsen, and Liberec this evening.

The Church of St. Cyril and Methodius in Prague's Karlín district, where Czechoslovak paratroopers fought Nazi forces 80 years ago, will be lit up tonight. So too will the Czech Radio building near the center of Prague. 

“One is grateful, but I feel that it is not enough. It's a shame that it is commemorated only on one day a year," remarked one commemorator in Prague earlier.


The poppy is the symbol of World War I. It was a flower that was the first to grow in fields destroyed during battles. People wear it as a mark of remembrance, and also place it on memorials and graves.

People can pay their respects to war veterans throughout the month of November by purchasing decorative poppy flowers from more than 1,000 Czech locations. The collection marks Veterans' Day. The money goes towards direct assistance to veterans and other freedom fighters through the National Remembrance Assistance Center. People can also make donations to the center through their website.

Around 1.4 million Czech soldiers fought and 150,000 died in World War I. An estimated total of 20 million people lost their lives as a result of the war. The Czechoslovak Legions, co-led by Tomáš Masaryk, played an instrumental role on the side of the Allied powers, thus brining an important contribution to Czechoslovakia’s independence in 1918.

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