I'm using that number as a title because I just can't fathom it. 27 million people, Soviet military and civilians, died in WWII.
Boston.com just released a collection of photos from this year's Victory Day (May 9) celebrations commemorating the end of WWII in Moscow and other places in the former Soviet Union.
I happened to be in Moscow at the time of the preparations for the 60th Anniversary of the end of WWII (2005) and got to see some of the parades and ceremonies (we left a few days before the actual Victory Day), and rehearsals. I have some pictures from the trip but nothing like those in the collection linked above which are just stunning.
Russia and WWII are two topics I have studied quite a bit and so watching the ceremonies was a bit like stepping back in time. It was really strange to hear military exercises associated with the era that were not in German.
As we make preparations for our own Memorial Day commemorations, let's try to remember that it's not just Americans who serve and die in wars, or fight for something they believe in, or defend their own sovereignty. War is sometimes necessary, but it should always be a last resort.