Members of the Serbian Armed Forces swimming for the Holy Epiphany Cross across Serbia
Minister Vulin: Serbia has chosen never to allow Serbs to be alone anywhere
Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin, on the occasion of the great Christian feast of Epiphany, attended the swimming for the Epiphany Cross in Sremska Kamenica today and presented the plaque to Nemanja Blagojević, who was the first to swim to the Epiphany Cross among 100 competitors.
- Today, the swimmers did not swim for themselves, they did not swim just to show how brave and powerful they were, they swam for their people, their country, their religion. They also swam for our brothers in Kosovo and Metohija, for our brothers in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia. They swam for our brothers in Montenegro who would have to justify and explain organizing such an event, who would have to apologize to someone, who would have to change the name of their church, the name of their religion – said Minister Vulin.
Minister Vulin congratulated one and all who completed the 33-meter swim for the Holy Epiphany Cross, symbolizing the years of Christ, today and thanked the assembled people for upholding the tradition.
- As long as there are men like this, as long as there are people like this, Serbs will never be alone anywhere. And as long as there is our state, as long as there is our government and our president, the Serbs will never be alone. Serbia has chosen never to leave the Serbs anywhere and never to leave them alone ever again. I thank all the swimmers, but I also I thank our people, who have gathered today to reaffirm our identity, our culture and religion, to once again say that Serbia is a better place to live, that Serbia is brave enough, strong enough to take care of itself, but also to take care of the Serbs wherever they may live – said Minister Vulin, greeting those present with the traditional Epiphany greeting “God has appeared”.
Deputy Mayor of Novi Sad, Srđan Kružević thanked the Serbian Armed Forces, Gendarmerie, Serbian Orthodox Church and all institutions that helped the City of Novi Sad to prepare the festive event of swimming for the Epiphany Cross for the seventh consecutive time and to demonstrate together that in terms of preserving the traditions and customs we have earned the place among those who are worthy of both their ancestors and descendants.
Twenty-two-year-old Nemanja Blagojević, the winner of the Swimming for the Holy Epiphany Cross in Sremska Kamenica, points out that he is very pleased to have been the first, especially since he was swimming for the first time in the place where he is attending a course at the Center for Basic Police Training. Nemanja points out that he has swam several times for the Holy Cross and that swimming is his discipline, as he trained water-polo in his hometown of Kruševac for years and worked as a lifeguard.
Swimming for the Holy Epiphany Cross in Sremska Kamenica was preceded by the Holy Bishops’ Liturgy at the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Sremska Kamenica, which was served by the Bishop of Srem, Vasilije and alongside him two military priests, Captain Đorđe Stojisavljević and Captain Selimir Vagić. The service was followed by the Epiphany procession from the Temple to the Danube, in which the Chief of Human Resources Department, Brigadier General Savo Iriškić, Commander of the First Brigade of the Land Forces, Brigadier General Zoran Nasković, and Commander of the River Fleet, Navy Captain Andrija Andrić also participated.
In addition to Sremska Kamenica, some 250 members of the Ministry of Defense and the Serbian Armed Forces swam for the Holy Epiphany Cross today and helped in the implementation of the event at 22 locations across Serbia.
The winner of Swimming for the Holy Epiphany Cross at the Sava Lake in Belgrade, the cadet of the third year of the Military Academy, Đorđe Racković was presented with the Holy Epiphany Cross and the winning cloak, and 30 cadets of the Military Academy who cheered for Racković also attended the liturgy at the St. George’s Temple in Čukarica and the Epiphany procession from that temple to the Sava Lake.