As Bedřich Smetana’s My Country sounds flow out of the speakers, three men in Sokol uniforms carry the American and Czech flags to a stone shield. It is written to stand in memory of the village of Lidice and its citizens in Czechoslovakia, which was slaughtered by the Nazis on June 10, 1942.
The annual Lidice Memorial Ceremony was held in Crest Hill earlier this week on the occasion of a visit by the Czech Senate delegation. Local real estate entrepreneur Dominique Romano named the part of the town that owned the land Lidice only two days after the horror of Lidice.
A month later, in July 1942, thousands of people went out to the streets to demonstrate against atrocities and set up a monument dedicated to Lidice. Local Czech-American residents, like Vera Wilt, say it was a rebellious act.
“When Hitler said he would wipe the name Lidice from the surface of the earth, Americans and others around the world took it as a challenge and said,” No, it’s not! “
“It was a reaction of the intestines. It came from the heart, not from the heart. They just thought: we can’t allow it to happen. Build a monument.”
The original monument to Crest Hill was subsequently replaced by a new one, but remains in a small park in a residential area named after Lidice for 80 years.
This story influenced not only Czech-Americans, but all Cresthill locals, including Tina Oberlin.
“I grew up just a few doors. When I was a kid, I came here to play and ride my bike. And every year when they had a memorial service, I just saw it. I couldn’t speak the language, but I always understood what it meant. Since I was a kid, it was obvious to me.
“Flashing decades ago, I became part of the city hall, and when the mayor asked me for help, it made so much sense to me that I just jumped in with both feet. rice field.”
The monument is managed by a local Czech-American, and the land above it belongs to the Czechoslovak Museum in Cedar Rapids.
John Pritasir, chairman of the Czechoslovak American Parliament, states that the legacy of Lidice remains very important to the community.
“The point of the monument was that people wouldn’t forget, because, as they say, those who forget are destined to repeat history. We see it happening in Ukraine now.
“The Czech community has always remembered. We grew it up, learned about Lidice at school and took it ourselves to ensure that the story was told.”
A full-scale anniversary is planned at Crest Hill this Sunday, just 80 years after the neighborhood was named after Lidice. A similar monument was planned in Philips, Wisconsin, and another Lidice monument was erected during the war.
https://english.radio.cz/us-town-crest-hill-commemorates-lidice-massacre-8752809 The town of Crest Hill in the United States commemorates the massacre of Lidice