Minister Vulin: 21 years have passed, and no one has apologized
Twenty-one years ago, the NATO aggressor committed a war crime - it killed seven members of the Guard and three patients at the "Dr Dragiša Mišović" hospital. Without a decision of the Security Council, any human, political, reasonable or unreasonable justification, NATO bombed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, not choosing who to kill - said the Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin after the wreath-laying ceremony in front of "Dr Dragiša Mišović" Clinical Hospital Centre, at the memorial dedicated to the members of the Guard Brigade and patients killed in the 1999 NATO aggression.
- Twenty-one years have passed, and no one has apologized. No one will ever bring these people back and the pain of their families and our entire nation will never be alleviated again, but an apology might help that this never happens again. An apology might help that what happened to us does not happen to others. That is why Serbia chose to remember, to recall, to remind, not because we hope that the powerful ones will be ashamed of what they did, but because we will not allow them to ever forget that - said Minister Vulin, emphasizing that "if we do not remember, everyone else will forget even faster and easier, and the victims do not deserve to be forgotten.”
Minister Vulin points out that no soldier, policeman, man, woman or child deserves to be killed in a free country and that there is no legitimate military target in a free country, nor is there any justification for NATO aggression.
- There was a time when we were silent, too. Until 2012 we were not allowed to tell the truth, and those times are gone forever. That is why Serbia has chosen a policy of military neutrality, to never allow itself to be part of any military alliance or pact that will one day order it to kill the citizens of some small, free country. We will never do to anyone what was done to us. We continue to expect that apology, which will not bring back our dead, but may guarantee that this will never happen to anyone again - said Minister Vulin.
The delegation of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, which laid wreaths, also included the Commander of the Guard of the Serbian Armed Forces, Major General Milomir Todorović, and the Head of the Office of the Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Siniša Kresović.
A prayer service was held today for the fallen soldiers of the Guard Brigade and the patients of the "Dr Dragiša Mišović" hospital, which was served by the Chief of Chaplains, Lieutenant Colonel Slađan Vlajić, and the Guard’s Military Chaplain, Major Stevan Stevanović.
Representatives of the City of Belgrade, the families of the victims, as well as the hospital’s delegation also laid wreaths at the memorial in front of the "Dr Dragiša Mišović" Clinical Hospital Centre.
The Assistant Mayor of Belgrade, Andreja Mladenović, said that even 21 years after the NATO crime, we gather at this place of death with disbelief that it was really possible to take 10 lives in such a way.
- Remembering the victims, we come here with the message and hope that this never happens again to anyone in the world, and I hope that it will never happen to us again. We always send a message from this place that freedom, independence and autonomy of our country and our people cannot be snatched and taken away from us. Remembering these victims, we must never forget that - Mladenović pointed out.
The Guard of the Serbian Armed Forces traditionally commemorates the death of the members of the Guard Brigade who were killed during the NATO aggression with a wreath-laying ceremony and a tour of the Memorial Room in the "Dedinje" barracks, where memories of innocent victims are evoked and kept. Laying wreaths in front of the "Dr Dragiša Mišović" Clinical Hospital Centre is one in a series of events marking the anniversary of the NATO aggression on our country.