Mr. Vladimir Pravik
There were only 28 fireworkers in the town of Chernobyl and all of them were in charge of the nuclear power station (the most powerful one in the former USSR). In one day, people from all over the world knew about these men because of the tragedy that occurred on the nights of April 25 to 26, 1986. Unfortunately, very few people, even in the former USSR republics, know about these men now...people's memory is very short sometimes.
Our teacher told us about this tragic event during human rights classes and about the people who fought one by one against nuclear power and disaster. In Belarus we call these people "Team N1" because they were the first on the line in the fight for the safety of others. Their wives, parents and children were living in the same town and they remember them and how, as documents show, they did not panic despite knowing that they would die and this would be the last working day of their lives.
40,000 people from the small Ukranian town were sleeping the night of April 25, unaware that somebody was fighting for their lives. My teacher said that it was a mentality of the former Soviet people to think about others and to be willing to die for the happiness and safety of others.
I think that every nation has their own heroes who are an example to follow.
I want to remind others of my heroes and what I have found out in our books about what happened during that time:
Chernobyl blowings were the equivalent of 1000 Hiroshimas and Nagasakis together. It is hard for people to understand how it was even possible for anyone to survive because people from Japan are suffering still now.
Chernobyl is a geopolitical disaster and catastrophe not only for the Ukraine, but also for Russia, and especially for us in Belarus. 40 percent of our land is affected by radioactivity. Children are suffering most of all because of cancer. So, it is a pity that my country has to fight this disaster alone, but I do believe that we will survive because, historically, we have survived many tragic events, especially during WW2 when every third Belarussian died because of naziism.
So, my conclusion is that we have to remember our heroes who died during a peaceful time trying to defend others. Without such a memory, we do not have a future as a nation.
Chernobyl Children's Project International is a humanitarian effort that seeks long-term community-based solutions, provides assistance, and advocates for the rights of victims and survivors of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster.
Adi Roche Read a story on MY HERO about the founder of the Chernobyl Children's Project International.
Wikipedia Find out more about Belarus.