The annual St. George Ribbon campaign, commemorating heroes of the Eastern Front of WWII, was held at the UN headquarters for the first time last year.
"Our debt to the dead, and to the veterans whose number decreases each year, is to preserve the historic memory, the memory of those who died fighting against fascism, and who freed Europe and the world from Nazism," said Ilya Rogachyov, Russia's deputy envoy to the United Nations.
The ribbons with black and orange stripes were handed over to Soviet war heroes living in the U.S. by pupils from a school at the Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN before a seminar devoted to WWII.
Orange and black are the traditional colors of Soviet and Russian awards for achievements in combat. The black and orange stripes symbolize smoke and fire.
Ruslan Bakhtin, a spokesman for Russia's UN mission, said the participation of school pupils is a "symbol of ties between generations, the preservation of traditions, and respect of the memory of those who died during the Great Patriotic War [the Russian term for the Eastern Front]."
The St. George Ribbon campaign will continue in New York until May 9. Most of the ribbons are to be distributed during a reception at Russia's consulate-general on Thursday.
The event will be attended by the WWII veterans who fought for the Soviet Union and the U.S. The ribbons will be also handed out by pupils and teachers on New York streets.
The campaign, now in its fifth year in Russia, was started by RIA Novosti and the Student Community youth organization. More than 45 million ribbons are distributed throughout the world, including in Ukraine, Estonia, Germany, Britain, the United States and China.