Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Minister Vulin: Wаrriers, the country you preserved is proud of you

Envoy of the president of the Republic of Serbia and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Aleksandar Vulin and Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Milan Mojsilović attended tonight the ceremonial academy on the occasion of the Veterans’ Day – 4 December, at the Congress Hall of the Houses of the Guards.

At the opening of the ceremony, Minister Vulin congratulated the veterans on behalf of the President of the Republic of Serbia and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Aleksandar Vučić.

- Congratulations on this solemn and proud day to each of you, all of Serbia, for those before us and the ones that are to follow in our footsteps. Solemn and proud, since fortunate peoples have no commemorations of this kind to mark. Fortunate peoples have not experienced wars, hatred, occupation, and cannot mark days like this. And yet, this holiday is proud, and how can we not be proud of history of a nation not great in numbers that has been occupied, but never conquered – said Minister Vulin.

As the Minister of Defence pointed out, we could have devoted this day to numerous events and persons from the Serbian history, and still we chose this “because we wanted to communicate that nothing begins with us.”
- The enemies, alliances, wars have changed through history, yet one thing has not – the persistence and firm resolution, the insoluble will of the Serbian people to retain their freedom at all costs. The Serbian people have stubbornly persevered in the decision to have their state and their armed forces in it. And the Serbian state and armed forces have always been considered synonymous in the mind of the Serbian peasant. Country equals freedom – emphasized the envoy of the President.

He also added that there were wars in our history that others provoked and imposed on us.

- The warriors who preserved our country, who defended our country, are here today. Some are here for we remember the names carved in the stone monuments, and some who are present, continue walking as a memory, example, pride and proof that the Serbian state no longer shrugs from those who established and defended it. This small in numbers and brave nation has turned out greater and more superior men than much richer, more numerous and stronger countries ever will. Desperate times would always bear for Serbia people to lead the nation and change it for the better. The warriors who defended and raised this country need and deserve full respect – said Minister Vulin, and went on to say that we must prove to be worthy of them.

He further stated that Serbia is growing stronger and progressing, that the armed forces are better and more equipped, more orderly.

- Warriors, you must see that. Rest assured that this state and this country, headed by the president, will not wage wars nor deliberately harm anyone, but also that it will not allow for any “Storm”, or Jasenovac and Prebilovci to occur ever again. Never again will this nation be a mute, senseless victim, never again will it be left without the help of the state and armed forces – said Minister Vulin and concluded with a message to the warriors, “The country you have preserved has every reason to be proud of you and to make you proud in return.”

On the occasion of the Military Veterans’ Day, Minister Vulin handed over the Plaque of the Ministry of Defence to the Editor in Chief of the newspaper “Military Veteran” Zvonimir Pešić and the military memorial medal to Dr Mile Bjelajac as acknowledgment of successful cooperation and contribution to the work, implementation of projects and other activities within the Ministry of Defence.

Artistic ensemble of the Ministry of Defence “Stanislav Binički” and the Mixed Choir of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces participated in the ceremony.

This evening’s ceremony on the occasion of the Veterans’ Day was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, foreign military representatives accredited to the Republic of Serbia, military veterans, representatives of religious communities, associations for cultivating traditions and members of families of the fallen members of the armed forces.

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.

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.
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