Minister Stefanović with descendants of Serbian First World War warriors
On the occasion of the Armistice Day, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Nebojša Stefanović, PhD met today at the Military Museum with representatives of the association of descendants and admirers of the Serbian First World War warriors. Minister Stefanović pointed out that we must never forget the sacrifice our ancestors made for freedom and that we are obliged to build an even stronger Serbia for them.
Minister Stefanović thanked the associations for the opportunity to celebrate this important day together, but also for keeping alive the glorious tradition of our people that must never be forgotten.
- We are celebrating the Armistice Day, but it is certainly the day of a great victory. Our people won, they liberated their homeland, but they paid dearly for the victory. Over the centuries, our people grew accustomed to horrors in this area, but the First World War was particularly difficult, because the civilian population suffered so terribly in it. That is something we must not forget either - said the Minister.
He referred to the glory of our army, which won the first Allies’ victory in the First World War.
- The Serbian army was not large, but it withstood the blows of much stronger and more powerful enemies and defeated them. And those first Allies’ victories in the First World War were precisely the victories won by the Serbian army. German field marshal, August von Mackensen told his army, "You are going into a battle against a new, dangerous, tough and brave enemy. You are going to the Serbian front, to Serbia, and the Serbs are a people who love their freedom and who fight and sacrifice themselves to the last. Be careful or this little enemy might tarnish your fame and successes so far." These were the words of an enemy, the enemy who could not but pay tribute to our country and our army - Minister Stefanović said.
That also shows, he added, what kind of soldiers our ancestors were, considering that even the enemy held them in considerable respect.
- My great-grandfather was awarded the Commemorative Medal for Loyalty to the Fatherland (Albanian Commemorative Medal), but I believe that all the stories that are passed down in our families and everything that we can read in the books does not give a full picture of the heroism of Serbian soldiers. Those people gave us a free Serbia, where we can build roads, hospitals and schools today. Just like Natalie's Ramonda (phoenix flower), Serbia resurrected after all the battles and suffering and today it is unstoppable on its path of progress and development. And we owe it to our ancestors to do everything we can to build an even stronger Serbia together, a Serbia where there is future for our children - said Stefanović.
Being aware of their importance, he said, today we build and keep peace and stability in our country and in the entire region.
- That is what the President and the Government of Serbia are doing today, and what we must all be committed to. We must preserve the freedom that was dearly paid for and we must never forget the great sacrifice our ancestors made for it. It is our duty to never forget our heroes, to always remember them with pride. Blessed be our heroes - said the Minister.
The ceremony at the Military Museum was attended by members of the Collegium of the Minister of Defence and representatives of the Association of the Descendants of the Serbian Warriors 1912-1920 and the Association of Military Volunteers 1912-1918 and their descendants and admirers. The Armistice Day is commemorated on November 11, to mark the armistice signed in the Compiègne Wagon on November 11, 1918, which ended the First World War.