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    03 september, 2020

    “Lesson in memory” about the tragedy in Beslan: a frank conversation with school pupils

    Author: Alexander Vorontsov, no comments

    September 3 is a significant date in our country – Day of Military Honour. From this year on, we mark this date as the end of the Second World War. September 3 is also the Day of Solidarity in the Fight against Terrorism. This is a very important date which is widely celebrated throughout Russia. Tula Region is no exception.

    16 years ago the tragedy in Beslan happened claiming many innocent lives. One of the participants of the special operation to rescue the hostages, who was the first to enter the school seized by the terrorists, was Vympel group unit Commander Vyacheslav Bocharov, a native of the town of Donskoy (Tula Region). Vyacheslav Bocharov is also the First Vice-President of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, Hero of the Russian Federation, my colleague, senior comrade and mentor.

    At the Tula Education Center No. 1, headed by our colleague Vera Soshneva, a member of the Civic Chamber of Tula Region, a "Lesson in memory" was held dedicated to the tragic events in Beslan. It is symbolic that 16 years ago on September 1, I was learning in this very school. Vladimir Lukin, the then Ombudsman for Human Rights, came to us for a special visit. We held an open lesson with outstanding people. At that moment the first information about the seizure of hostages in Beslan emerged in the news.

    Today 9th grade students took part in our meeting. These are 14/15-year-old teenagers who were born after these terrible events and know about them only from the stories of their seniors and the media. Together with all participants, we talked about those three days in Beslan, remembered the feat of Vyacheslav Bocharov and all members of the Special Forces. They protected other people's children, covered them with their bodies, all the while knowing that their own children and relatives were waiting for them at home.

    The victims of the terrorist attack were not only schoolchildren – their relatives, parents, younger brothers and sisters also came to the school assembly 16 years ago ... And they all ended up in inhuman conditions. The monsters who caused this tragedy deliberately took these actions, they knew exactly what they were doing...

    Such tragedies should never be repeated! Today Russia is strengthened both domestically and on the international stage so that such a situation does not happen like in 2004. I hope very much that such events simply cannot happen now on the territory of our country when the current law enforcement system is fully operating. Nevertheless, each of us must be careful and vigilant. To this day, we sometimes hear stories about weapons, grenades, etc. being brought to a school.

    I believe that the tragedy of Beslan at one time did not attract the attention of the world community, it was perceived rather as an internal affair of the Russian Federation. I think this story should have had a completely different outreach. It is necessary to give events a genuine assessment.

    We talked with the school pupils about the debt of memory and asked them to talk about this with their parents, friends, and younger comrades. Such dates must not be forgotten. This is the pain of our country, a dark day in the history of Russia. It is important to remember those people thanks to whom we now have the opportunity to live peacefully, study, and enjoy every day!

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