Moving Prayer From Palmyra Concert
by Stephen Lendman
On May 5 at 5:00PM Moscow time, renowned Russian conductor Valery Gergiev with musicians from St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater orchestra performed a moving concert amidst the ruins of Palmyra’s ancient theater in remembrance of its US-sponsored terrorist victims.
Syrian forces greatly aided by Russian air power and intelligence liberated the historic city in March, ISIS suffering a strategic defeat.
Putin spoke by videoconference, expressing thanks “for this wonderful humanitarian event today, this concert in Palmyra, now liberated from the terrorists. I see this event as a symbol of gratitude, memory and hope.”
“It expresses gratitude to all who fight terrorism at the cost of even their own lives, memory for all victims of terror, no matter where or when these crimes against humanity are committed, and, of course, hope, hope not only to restore Palmyra as part of humanity’s heritage, but to free today’s world from this terrible scourge of international terrorism.”
“To do this, each and every one of us must look at any success in the fight against terrorism as a common victory, and always, everywhere, must see any victim of terror as a personal loss and sorrow. Only with this attitude to this absolute evil will we be able to defeat it once and for all.”
“I know that today’s event involves great inconveniences and dangers for all taking part, the dangers associated with being in a country at war, and with military operations still going on not so far away. This demands great strength and effort on your part and certainly great courage.”
Titled With a Prayer from Palmyra: Music Revives the Ancient Walls, maestro Gergiev was joined by cellist Sergei Roldugin, St. Petersburg’s House of Music artistic director.
Works by Prokofiev, Bach and Schedrin were performed. Audience members included Syrian and Russian soldiers, invited dignitaries, along with area residents including children. Gergiev addressed them, saying:
“We protest against barbarians who destroyed wonderful monuments of world culture. We protest against the execution of people here on this great stage.”
The memory of Senior Russian Lieutenant Alexander Prokhorenko was honored. Surrounded by ISIS terrorists in Homs governorate in mid-March, he called in an airstrike on himself to help eliminate them.
He was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation, the nation’s highest honor, for exceptional courage and heroism. He gave his life to save others.
The deeply moving event on hallowed ground in a war zone had special significance. Russian media deservedly gave it extensive coverage. In America, it got short shrift.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.