Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Ceremonial academy on the occasion of the Veterans Day

In the House of Guards in Topcider, tonight's gala ceremony was held by the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces on the occasion of the celebration of 4 December, Veterans Day. The meeting was attended by Defence Minister Bratislav Gasic, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy Aleksandar Vulin, state secretaries and assistants of the Minister of Defence, Chief of General Staff General Ljubisa Dikovic, with members of the Collegium, representatives of the military diplomatic corps, MoD and SAF institutions, church dignitaries, veterans, and many guests.

At the beginning of the ceremonial academy, Defence Minister awarded Aleksandar Vulin with the Golden Plaque of the Ministry of Defence, in recognition of the successful cooperation with the MoD and SAF and the successful implementation of joint projects and other activities for the Serbian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence.

Bratislav Gasic then addressed the gathering and pointed out that Veterans Day is celebrated in the Ministry and the Serbian Armed Forces for the first time, thus ensuring continuity in the memory of our ancestors who stood proudly in the front line for the defence of their fatherland.

"It has been over a century since that time. Then, about 400,000 soldiers of the Royal Serbian Army became old warriors, veterans. Taking care of veterans and tending to their needs has been taken over by the Ministry of War within the Government of the Kingdom of Serbia. Serbia has historically stood on the path of each conqueror, and the Serbian soldier knowingly risked his life and courageously defended his fatherland. Our veterans so far in the history of warfare remember many victories and they have contributed to the entire Serbian history. For this reason, we must not forget them - Gasic said.

He then said that the gala ceremony was held to "thank all the known and unknown who gave their youth, their lives and those who became disabled during the recent events in our region."

"Serbia needs to revive memories and to honour our brave warriors, heroes, participants of all wars and armed conflicts on the territory of our country; to show care for military veterans, in particular those from the period of armed conflict from 1991 to 1999. I am sure that with joint effort and will we will succeed in this - Defence Minister said.

Quoting Cicero, that history is a teacher of life, Gasic said that past events should never be forgotten, but that life and peace must be provided through strong diplomacy, not warfare.

"Military cooperation of Serbia with the rest of the world should be at a higher level than political and economic. Serbia should follow the path of the EU with all its values and qualities, but with friends in the East, as well as in the West. I expect that our past experiences will help us to be united, to proudly preserve our country, as we have always done," Gasic stressed.

Then in organization of the Studies for education, consulting and marketing – Fusion Studies from Obrenovac – an art-stage program was performed. The performers among others were actors Ivana and Jelena Jovanovic Zigon, Lepomir Ivkovic, Kosovski Bozuri and Art Ensemble of the Ministry of Defence "Stanislav Binicki".

In a media statement, Minister Aleksandar Vulin said that the recognition he received surpassed his work and that he saw it as a great recognition of the ministry he leads. "I am a small part of that ministry, and this is a great recognition for the Ministry of Labour, and even greater for me "- Vulin said.