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    Amateur actors re-enact the linkup of Soviet and American troops 65 years ago, in Torgau, eastern Germany, on Saturday, April 24, 2010

    Elbe Day Commemoration Solidifies US-Russia Relations - US Defense Agency

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    The Elbe Day commemoration held annually at Arlington National Cemetery strengthens the relations between the United States and Russia, the principal director for the Defense Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Accounting Agency, Fern Sumpter Winbush, told Sputnik at the "Spirit of the Elbe" memorial.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Elbe Day commemorates the reunion of the Soviet and US armies at the River Elbe in Germany on April 25, 1945, which was an important step toward ending World War II.

    “It further solidifies our relationship and recognizing the sacrifices [in World War II] of both sides, all of our service members is just critically important,” Winbush said on Monday.

    When asked how crucial it is to continue the tradition of holding this event, she stated, “Very important.”

    “I am just completely honored to be a part of this ceremony to remind all of us of the importance of our countries’ meeting at the Elbe. This is just a phenomenal event that I am so honored to be a part of,” Winbush said.

    Russian, US and former Soviet Union states’ delegations laid wreaths at the “Spirit of the Elbe” memorial at the Arlington National Cemetery on Monday.

    The US delegation was headed by Director of Russian Affairs at the US State Department Eric Green.

    The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is an organization within the Pentagon whose mission is provide the accounting for missing US personnel from past conflicts, including World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Gulf Wars, and other recent conflicts.

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