Minister Vulin: All those who defended the Federative Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999 deserve equal attention and respect
At a ceremony held in the Great War Room of the Old General Staff, Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin presented Military memorial medals for the contribution to defence system of the Republic of Serbia to former members of the Yugoslav Armed Forces from Montenegro, Andrija Mandić, Commander of Light Self-propelled Artillery Battery of the 5th Motorised Brigade of the Yugoslav Armed Forces, and Danilo Leković, Commander of the 1st Platoon of Light Self-propelled Artillery Battery of the 5th Motorised Brigade of the Yugoslav Armed Forces.
Having conferred the recognitions, Minister Vulin underlined that all who had defended the Federative Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999 deserved equal attention and respect, no matter if they were the nationals of Serbia or Montenegro.
- Everybody who stood by its people back in 1999, and who stood by their country, deserve our respect and deserve that we repay them in this manner. President Aleksandar Vučić, Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, held a historic speech. After that speech, every state body of the Republic of Serbia is obliged to do its part, to give its best thus assisting the Serbian people in Montenegro - Minister Vulin stressed.
According to him, it lasted too long and many decades have passed since the Serbs in Montenegro could be certain that the state of Serbia stands firmly by them, and that it would always be with them and that they will always have someone to rely on.
- Serbia remembers good, just like it remembers evil, and it will repay both good and evil to everyone, just like they deserved. This is our way to thank those who protected us, defended us, and this is also our way to send a message to the Serbian people in Montenegro that we are aware of their existence, that we are proud of their courage, of their stubbornness, determination and resilience, and that the Serbian people in Montenegro can always count on the state of Serbia - Minister Vulin stated.
As Andrija Mandić underscored, he was very happy, together with his friend Danilo Leković, for being in an opportunity to receive such high decorations, and to see that the Serbian Armed Forces and the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vulin and the state of Serbia, as successor of the Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, remembered all that was great from the time of NATO aggression against the FRY.
- This is a great recognition for the battery that I commanded, and a great recognition for all members of reserve from Montenegro, and in 1999 there was a huge number of them, who know and who are proud of having answered the call of the fatherland and of having defended their fatherland the way our glorious ancestors did. Twenty years have passed and many in Montenegro, the same ones who in 1999 called for desertion, have tried to make people feel ashamed of having belonged to the Yugoslav Armed Forces - Mandić underlined.
He added that those people did not consider it to be one of the greatest deeds in life, but they believed that it was something completely different, thinking probably of betrayal towards which they had tended believing that it was a path which all citizens of Montenegro should have followed.
- All members of the Yugoslav Armed Forces from Montenegro who participated in defence of the fatherland back in 1999, have received today, just like on the previous occasion when there were the families of killed warriors from Montenegro, a great recognition, strong support and encouragement to protect and cherish the memories of great deeds performed by our fallen friends, and by us who survived, and we are proud and happy for having been a part of one glorious historic tale that will be written in golden letters in the history of the Serbian people - Andrija Mandić stated.
At the reception, apart from the memorial medal, Minister Vulin presented Andrija Mandić with a sabre.
Presenting military recognitions for successful cooperation and contribution to defence system to the members of Light Self-propelled Artillery Battery of the 5th Motorised Brigade of the Yugoslav Armed Forces, which was among the first to engage during NATO aggression against the FRY, was a way to express gratitude to them for defending the fatherland, not sparing their lives, and for cherishing the memory of those difficult but honourable times.
The Medal handover ceremony was attended by members of the boards of the minister of defence and Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces.