Military Day

Baku Travel Blog

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Today was an official holiday here in Azerbaijan, Military Day.  For the past week while I have been working at the Heydar Aliev Foundation, my classes have been interrupted by the sounds of Migs flying over the rooftop.  My students told me about the holiday and the fact I did not have to work today (Hooray!). 

I was told that there would be a big military parade at Freedom Park starting at 10am.  I missed the parade portion at Freedom Park because I woke up late but I was happy because I slept very well for a change.  Certain routes were closed down to vehicles and it was nice not having to fear for my life while crossing the street.  I went down to the Boulevard, which is close to the Caspian Sea and started walking.  Soon, a combination of motorcycles, jeeps and other military vehicles came speeding down the street.
Kind of reminds me of the Swervedriver album Raise.
  Being a veteran, I still remember my time in Uncle Sam's Summer Camp for the Wayward and the Lost.  Here, all males are required to serve in the military for 18 months.  A few of my former students from Nakhchivan are currently serving somewhere.  While it is looked upon as something everyone must do here, still I recognize that look on several soldiers' faces.  That look of 'I want to be anywhere but here' -- that I knew because I had the same confused expression on my face while i was in --was present.  i wish I knew the words for "It won't last forever" in Azeri but I did not.

After the military vehicles were done, soon the park was filled with the sound of helicopters flying overhead.
  I walked over to the Caspian to get a better look as several Hinds flew overhead.  I remember during one of my military trainings many years ago, our trainer told us if the pilot of a Hind saw us, we were as good as dead.  Ahh...the Cold War.  I never saw a Hind upclose until this past January when I was in Kiev and I never saw one fly in person until today. 

Later there were what I am assuming to be MIGs flying through the air.  The first group did some manuvers.  The second group came in blowing blue, red and green smoke -- the colors of the Azeribaijan flag.  This group appeared to be closer to the Azerbaijani answer to the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels.  While not as spectacular as those two groups, they were very interesting to watch.  Once they were done, the show was over.  I ended up buying some bootlegs DVDs for the evening and my weekend off, and then i returned home.

While I, like so many others, dream of a world where there would never be the need for any military to exist, still it is interesting to view these machines of destruction in amazement, awe and lots of fear.  
Jopin says:
Amazing pictures! It's sad but true, the military is there... just in case we need to defend our nation from other nations, or worse!
Posted on: Jun 26, 2008
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Kind of reminds me of the Swervedr…
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photo by: RJawad