The initiative to establish the Day of the Unknown Soldier belongs to the participants of movements engaged in the search for the remains of dead soldiers and perpetuating their memory
The date of December 3 was chosen due to the fact that it was on this day, in 1966, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the defeat of German troops near Moscow, the ashes of an unknown soldier were transferred from a mass grave and solemnly buried at the wall of the Moscow Kremlin in the Alexander Garden.
The mass grave, from where the remains were transferred, is located on the site where the Moscow defense line passed in the winter of 1941. Here, military units of the 16th army waged active hostilities to protect the capital. At this point, the words were spoken: "There is nowhere to retreat, Moscow is behind us."
Today is the day when they remember those fighters whose remains lie in mass graves, under a modest mound with a red star, or in well-groomed memorials that take their souls with their piercing grandeur. In the fields of the Moscow region and at the walls of Stalingrad, near Rzhev and in Myasny Bor, at the walls of the Brest fortress and on the Kuril ridge, on the Baltic coast and in countless burials outside the borders of Russia, right up to Prague, Berlin and Vienna.
Almost everyone in our country has relatives who have nowhere to go to the grave, because their relatives do not know where he is buried. Tens of thousands of soldiers of that war did not even have relatives. And, probably, no one will know where, stepping into eternity, they found their peace.
But this does not mean that they are forgotten. Today, search work is underway at the sites of past battles, archives are being studied, and every year there are fewer unknown heroes.