Moscow, September 2020. Her Imperial Highness, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, Head of the Russian Imperial House, awarded Marek Sobola, founder of the international initiative Tree of Peace, by the Imperial Commemorative Medal “In Memory of the 100th Anniversary of the Great War, 1914 – 1918” (Russian: Императорская медаль «В память 100-летия Великой войны 1914 – 1918 гг»). The medal was awarded for a significant contribution to the preservation of the memory of the heroic feats performed by the peoples of Russia and of allied soldiers during the First World War of 1914 – 1918. This award of the Romanov Dynasty was established by Decree № 1/100-VV-1914-1918 in Madrid on August 23/September 5, 2015.
The first of Trees of Peace was planted in 2018 in the war cemetery in Veľkrop which is the biggest cemetery from the First World War in Slovakia. 8,662 soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian and Russian armies have found a final resting place here. Marek Sobola is also the author of the Central memorial at the cemetery, which was unveiled after an extensive reconstruction of this forgotten sacred place. In the same year, the first foreign Tree of Peace was solemnly planted in Russia near the building of the Museum of the First World War in the Tsarskoye Selo palace complex in Pushkin, an administrative part of St. Petersburg.