Wednesday, August 8 isn’t the first Wednesday of the month – the date that Prague’s emergency sirens run their monthly test – but sirens will be heard throughout the city for approximately 140 seconds starting at 12:00.
The emergency sirens will honor the memory of Sergeant Martin Marcin, Corporal Kamil Beneš, and Corporal Patrik Štěpánek, three Czech soldiers who were killed in action in Afghanistan over the weekend.
Sirens will not only be heard in Prague, but throughout the rest of the Czech Republic as well. The official Twitter handle of the Government of the Czech Republic announced the action yesterday.
“The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic has decided to symbolically honor the memory of three soldiers killed in Afghanistan, who have laid down their lives in the fight against terrorism,” the government handle tweeted.
“On Wednesday, August 8, 2018, at 12.00, sirens will sound in memory of the fallen soldiers.”
Premiér České republiky rozhodl o celostátním symbolickém uctění památky tří vojáků zabitých v Afghánistánu, kteří položili své životy v boji proti terorismu. Ve středu 8. srpna 2018 ve 12.00 zazní sirény na památku padlých vojáků → https://t.co/09jYwfi9qn
— Úřad vlády ČR (@strakovka) August 6, 2018
Marcin, Beneš, and Štěpánek were part of a NATO mission near Bagram ambushed by a suicide bomber on Sunday. Three others – an American and two Afghans – were injured during the attack, but the Czech soldiers were the only casualties.
Their remains are currently being transported back to the Czech Republic, where they will be buried with military honors. A ceremony to honor the fallen soldiers will take place on Wednesday from 16:15, and will be attended by President Miloš Zeman and others.
“I am very sorry for the deaths of our three soldiers in Afghanistan,” Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stated in a press release.
“They were heroes who fought terrorists so far from home, and were murdered a suicide attacker. I appreciate what they did for our country. I express my deepest sympathy to their families and survivors.”
Nearly 200 Czech soldiers are currently part of the 10th A.C.R. Guard Company stationed near Bagram in order to “to deflect hostile activities against the allied base,” according to the Czech military.
In 2014, four other Czech soldiers were killed in Afghanistan in a similar suicide attack. They were later posthumously awarded medals of honor by President Zeman.