Reception of Minister of Defense and Chief of General Staff on the occasion of Military Veterans’ Day
On the occasion of the Military Veterans’ Day – 4 December, Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin and the Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Milan Mojsilović, hosted a reception for the representatives of military veterans at the General Hall of the Houses of the Guards at Topčider.
At the beginning of the ceremony, the congratulatory message of the President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić on the occasion of the Veterans’ Day was read.
The reception was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, military veterans, representatives of religious communities, associations for cultivating traditions and members of families of the fallen members of the armed forces.
General Mojsilović emphasized that the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces value, nurture and develop the traditions of Serbian liberation wars; that honouring the tradition of the Ministry of War, which had made it their business to look after the old warriors over a century ago, today are proud to mark the Veterans’ Day.
- By marking today’s holiday, on the occasion of which we have organized a series of activities and manifestations, we remember and pay tribute to the known and unknown worriers. The Republic of Serbia has a moral obligation to pay tribute to the courageous fighters, participants of all the wars and armed conflicts at the territory of our country, and especially to demonstrate our great care for the military veterans and families of the fallen members of the armed forces who participated in armed conflicts 1991 through 1999 – General Mojsilović said.
As he emphasized, “allegiance to the homeland, loyalty, courage, discipline, solidarity, humanity, dignity, self-sacrifice and respect for others are values that have always been at the heart of the Serbian soldier.”
- Driven by these values, our proud ancestors fought for our homeland. We have an obligation to honor and prove worthy of being called their successors, the successors of their undying deeds and illustrious tradition; to cherish and build a better Serbia to leave to the generations to come – said General Mojsilović.
The Head of the Directorate for Tradition, Standard and Veterans, Colonel Slađan Ristić, pointed out that “by marking the Military Veterans’ Day we ensure the continuation of the memory of our famous ancestors, who proudly stood in battle lines for the defense of their homeland."
- As always, the military veterans represent a significant potential that the Ministry of Defense and the Serbian Armed Forces must not ignore. From the aspect of military traditions, celebrating the Military Veterans’ Day is of great importance, as this is a way to show that we have not forgotten all those who are devoted to the service of the country, those who fought and gave their lives for our homeland – said Colonel Ristić.
On 4 December 1912 an armistice was signed in the First Balkan War between the allies Serbia, Montenegro, Greece and Bulgaria on one side and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) as the defeated side on the other. For this reason, the date was selected as the Day of the Military Veterans.
Looking after the war veterans was the responsibility of the Ministry of War, within the Government of the Kingdom of Serbia. By providing properties for them in the southern part of Serbia, the State and the Government have shown that it was possible to recognize and honor the participation in the country’s defense and show concern for the military veterans.
By choosing this date as the Military Veterans’ Day, the continuity of the veteran tradition from the Balkan wars was ensured, when Serbia, in addition to establishing a military alliance with its neighbors, engaged approximately 12 percent of the population in the war, along with all the material and financial reserves.
On the occasion of the Veterans’ Day, all organizational units of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces organized similar events and presented awards and recognitions to the most deserving members.