Until this year.
So there have been several dress rehearsals with all the military vehicles including tanks, missiles, and jets, being dusted off and driven down or flown over the main streets in the center of town.
We have friends who live on the parade route, so this morning the girls and I went over to have breakfast and watch the drill. We got to see the whole thing twice: once as the procession headed down Tverskaya to Red Square, and then again as it all returned to the depot. In between, a brigade of street cleaning trucks came through and washed off the streets.
From our friends' kitchen window, we couldn't see the jets and bombers. But on Friday we will watch the whole thing from the street and should see them then. Below is a banner and a sign announcing the May 9 festivities.
So we started from our friends' fifth floor apartment. The noise was terrific, and we could feel the vibrations through the building.
And then they cleaned up.
Then we went down to the street and watched again as they came back from Red Square.
The city workers look on. Everyone was taking photos with cameras and phones.
We made a sport out of getting the soldiers to wave to us. Many of them did.
Then they cleaned up again.
All the street cleaning trucks had been waiting at the corner.