The Fund was formed in 2009 to preserve cultural, spiritual and historical legacy of Russia, to maintain and retain our cult and historical sites and grave sites reminding us of wars and accidents, to help people who suffered from accidents and catastrophes and to support their families. The Fund was named in consonance with a member of the Academy, D. S. Likhachev’s thoughts on memory helping us to overcome time and death, and being the basis of conscience, morals and culture and his saying that ‘To keep, to cherish memory is our moral obligation to ourselves and our descendants. Memory is our treasure’.
The Our Memory Charity Fund was founded by a famous Russian archeologist, Doctor of History, head of the Department at Institute of History of the Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences, professor A. N. Kirpichnikov; an entrepreneur, associate professor at St. Petersburg State University of Communication Routes, Candidate of Technical Sciences S. N. Poltorak and a director at Jalkala History and Ethnography Conservation Area N. M. Simankov.
First the founders were encouraged to create the Fund because they wanted to support the project of construction of St. Leonidas Chapel in Jalkala. The memorial chapel in the name of a saint Orthodox martyr of the 4th century Leonidas of Egypt is being built now at Jalkala conservation area (former V. I. Lenin’s Museum), in Ilyichevo Village, Vyborg Region, Leningradskaya Oblast, in remembrance of all who died in wars and accidents on the Karelian Isthmus. The initial idea was to both honor memory of the five young men who died at the 45th km of Scandinavian freeway to Jalkala on the night from December 27 to December 28, 2008 and to commemorate all fallen in wars and accidents on the Karelian Isthmus throughout thousands of years of its bloody history. The names of the five friends, former classmates and graduates from the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics at St. Petersburg State University, were Leonid, Igor, Denis, Roman and Alexander; and it would be impossible to list all the rest of those to whom the Chapel is devoted. From the very beginning this project, the first Fund’s program, has been called ‘the tolerance memorial’ by the printed press. The same aspiration for commonality and tolerance in preservation of our history and cultural legacy lies at the roots of Our Memory Fund’s charity activity.