Moscow, August 22, Interfax - The service to commemorate people who lost their lives in defending the White House was conducted at the memorial sign located the intersection of Novy Arbat Street and Novinsky Boulevard, Moscow.
"We gathered together here to pray for people who had lost their lives in defending freedom and Motherland," head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said addressing dozens people who attended the service.
He said many people had fearlessly taken to the streets 20 years ago "to defend freedom in this country and many of them expressed their aspirations as Russian citizens."
"Today, let us pray for those who shed their blood and those who lost their lives but stayed here or did something else to make our Motherland free," Father Vsevolod said.
He said 20 challenging years had passed when "the country faced many concerns and troubles, it made many mistakes and committed crimes."
"But thank God, our people who 20 years ago voted for freedom of atheism and oppression and freedom for making right decisions in life have maintained their choice," Father Vsevolod stressed.
He recalled that the 1991 events started on the day of Transfiguration and "this makes us understand that the country may and should transfigure by God's blessing."
"Let us pray for that and hope for that and work for that. There is a good reason that our people have chosen the path leading to transfiguration and justice after 70 years of ideological oppression and forced atheism. Let our country follow this path of justice within the next 20 years," Father Vsevolod said.
He also wished that Russia "would forget that dreadful time when it has almost lost its historical way and always pursue that road and transfigure its life, as well as hearts and souls of people and the whole world with its message of truth, beauty, kindness and love."
The memorial sign is put up at Sadovoye Koltso on top of the tunnel where three White House defenders - Dmitry Komar, Ilya Krichevsky and Vladimir Usov - lost their lives on August 20-21, 1991.