Vítkov to host October 28 ceremony in honor of the foundation of Czechoslovakia

The National Monument in Prague will host October 28 celebrations this year, despite the hospitalization of Czech President Miloš Zeman.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 24.10.2021 09:49 (updated on 24.10.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

The National Memorial atop Prague's Vítkov Hill will host a ceremony next week in honor of the establishment of Czechoslovakia on October 28, 1918. The 2020 ceremony was cancelled due to restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, and politicians came to the monument to lay wreaths and flowers individually.

Other traditional events held on October 28 will be postponed this year due to the hospitalization of President Miloš Zeman.

The medal ceremony at Prague Castle is the most important of these commemorative gatherings. The Czech President traditionally bestows the medals to honorees on the evening of October 28.

The medal ceremony will be postponed from the national holiday on October 28 to a later date, Czech Presidential Office head Vratislav Mynář told journalists on Thursday.

The head of the Presidential Office protocol department, Vladimír Kruliš, told CTK on Wednesday that it will be up to President Miloš Zeman to decide on the new date of the ceremony.

The way the decorations are bestowed depends on the president. He may designate someone to do so or postpone the ceremony. The medals can also be sent by mail.

Kruliš assumes that if the ceremony does not take place, Prague Castle will announce the recipients and the medals will be bestowed later. A similar procedure was undertaken last year when the ceremony could not take place due to the pandemic.

Due to Zeman's hospitalization, foreign ambassadors will not be invited to a reception at the castle on the eve of October 28, according to information provided by Kruliš.

Generals will not be appointed for the same reason, as the designation requires Zeman's signature. New military members will not take their oaths in Prague, either. Nearly five hundred university graduates will instead likely take their oaths in the Brno barracks, the Defence Ministry has announced.

Those attending the ceremony at the Vítkov memorial this year must have their mouth and nose covered, and prove they have been either vaccinated against Covid-19 or tested negative, the Defence Ministry's Jana Zechmeisterová told CTK.

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However, face masks are not compulsory for the soldiers in the honorary units as they work together. Jan Kaše, chief of the Presidential Military Office, will replace Zeman during the wreath-laying ceremony, Kruliš said.

Other ceremonies related to October 28 will commemorate Czechoslovak legionaries, for example.

On Tuesday, Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar will bestow ministerial awards and selected soldiers will be promoted to the rank of colonel at Vítkov on Wednesday.

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