Plzen - The international Convoy of Liberty of over 150 historical military vehicles drove through Plzen today as the traditional culmination of the Freedom Festival marking the 69th anniversary of the town's liberation by the U.S. army.
V Plzni pokračovaly 4. května Slavnosti svobody - oslava 69. výročí osvobození Plzně americkou armádou. Jako hlavní část programu projela městem kolona Convoy of Liberty se 140 vojenskými historickými vozidly. ČTK Němeček Pavel
Thousands of people watched the show on the main road in Plzen. The military vehicles´ crews in period uniforms of the allied armies were waving at and greeting the crowd.
Several WWII veterans who liberated west Bohemia 69 years ago were in the first out of hundreds of jeeps.
A few veterans annually attend the Freedom Festival and they still have friends in Plzen.
Another guest to the event was George Patton Watters, a grand-son of General George S. Patton whose troops liberated Plzen in May 1945.
"The begining of the convoy is led by ´an armoured front´, the units showing how the Americans who then arrived in Plzen looked like. The vehicles were driving not only in the same order as then but they had even the same licence plates," main organiser Michal Kindl told CTK.
Flag bearers and jeeps with war veterans followed the front of the convoy.
The Czechoslovak armoured army, that is the Czechoslovak citizens fighting within British troops during WWII, was also in the convoy.
Its major part consisted of military history clubs with participants from all over Europe.
"This is an American jeep made by the Ford plant, it is from 1942. I have adjusted it to a medical vehicle of the 16th armoured division," one of the Czech participants, Michal Skryty, told CTK.
He bought the car two years ago and restored it with a couple of friends, he said.
The Freedom Festival continues until Tuesday. More information is available on its website.