They are as punctual as decades ago. Not so full of energy as before though, but their minds are clear, they are still eager to see everything and learn new things. On March 24, the General Director has presented "Seventy Years of Victory" medals to sixteen veterans of the Great Patriotic War.
In the Conference Room of the factory Administration building we can see, stacked up in neat piles, boxes with medals, greeting cards, bunches of roses decorated with St. George ribbons. Everything is ready to greet our dear guests. And they did not keep anybody waiting – everyone has come in time and took their seats of honor at the conference desk.
Victor Grigoryevich Tolmachev, with a sincere smile, is addressing the veterans:
When spring comes, all of us start preparing for the most remarkable holiday – the Victory Day. Votkinsky zavod has taken part in that great battle. 3000 factory people went to the war, 800 of them never came back. Women and children had to operate industrial machines in their stead. They have manufactured around 50 thousand anti-tank cannons.
My parents also fought at the front-line and now I came to understand why, every time I would ask them about the war in my childhood, they would try to avoid telling me about it. But my father would take me to the cinema to watch movies featuring war. They were very good, patriotic movies, by the way. He would plant books about the war for me to read. That was the method he used to cultivate respect for war veterans, love for our country in me and my brother.
56 years ago Votkinsky zavod was called again to work for our Motherland’s defense. We started to manufacture missiles: «Skud», then «Oka», «Tochka», «Tochka-U», «Pioner», «Topol», «Yars», «Bulava». That is, we are also working to preserve peace so that nobody would even think about starting a war against Russia. So far, we are doing pretty good. During all those years, we have never breached any contract with the Ministry of Defense, we have never received a single factory-caused claim.
This is certainly due to your contribution. First, because you have won this victory. Second, you have built a factory team which is very pleasant to work with. Currently, the average age of employees is 38.5 years. We still have employees aged over 60. They teach young people; boys and girls do their best to learn from them. And this is the type of solid team that our generation has inherited from you.
I thank you so much for your Victory, for you having been able to preserve Votkinsky zavod. Thank you very much!
Vadim Igorevich Ovchinnikov, Deputy General Director for Personnel, is reading out the award order text. Victor Grigoryevich is saying a cordial “Thank you” to each veteran as he presents medals.
After the ceremony, the General Director has invited the veterans to visit the factory museum and take a picture to remember this day. And then everybody is off for a quick bus tour of the factory. The bus drives slowly. Every now and then we can hear veterans saying: “Everything has changed so much!” with a note of excitement and joy for today’s factory employees.
As we say good-bye to the veterans, we, in turn, wish them good health and keep saying “Thank you! Thank you for the Victory. And for being with us …”.
There are 597 war veterans listed at the Factory’s Council of Veterans. They will be presented with anniversary medals in April.