By Donald Pafko, Honorary Slovak Consul
On June 15 2012, the City of Phillips, Wisconsin held its annual commemoration of the destruction of the Village of Lidice, Czech Republic. As most of us know the village was destroyed by the Nazis during the second World War and many of its inhabitants were killed. This year marked a very special commemoration as it was the 70th anniversary of this unfortunate tragedy.
A special guest at this year’s event was the Czech Ambassador to the United States H.E. Petr Gandalovič. A solemn ceremony was held at the Lidice Memorial and a flag dedication ceremony was held as the flags of the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, and the United States were raised. In addition, spotlights were installed to provide perpetual lighting of the three flags adjacent to the memorial. H.E. Petr Gandalovič, Czech Ambassador to the U.S. and Honorary Slovak Consul Donald Pafko were honored to have raised the Czech and Slovak flags.
A memorial service was held at the Baptist Church in Phillips, Wisconsin, during which Ambassador Gandalovič gave a very moving speech about the events that occurred during the second World War and in particular the destruction of Lidice. A film was shown depicting all the events surrounding the Lidice tragedy.
The Lidice commemoration was held in conjunction with the annual Czech and Slovak Festival conducted in Philllips, Wisconsin.