Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Minister Vučević attends celebration of City Day in Banja Luka

Acting on behalf of the President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Serbian Armed Forces, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the Republic of Serbia Miloš Vučević attended tonight a celebratory event to mark Banja Luka Day, which was held at the city’s Borik Sports Hall. 
The event was attended by the President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik, a Ministry of Defence delegation, Mayor of Belgrade Aleksandar Šapić, Mayor of Novi Sad Milan Đurić, representatives of local self-governments, religious communities, veterans, public figures and numerous citizens.  

Minister Vučević offered his greetings for the City Day and the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the capital of Republika Srpska, when the soldiers of the Sixth Krajina Brigade, commanded by the national hero Milančić Miljević had marched into the liberated Banja Luka.  

- What else could the Krajina Serbs and the citizens of Banja Luka celebrate but liberation and the most sacred freedom? Nothing else because the tradition of Petar Kočić and the work of Mladen Stojanović are deeply woven into their fabric. The heroism of all 20 national heroes whose busts we cherish and pay tribute to. It is the same city that was rebuilt after the devastating 1969 earthquake. It is the living heart of Krajina that managed to rebuild its Holy Trinity Church in the most difficult times, a symbol of the suffering of Serbs and the Ustasha terror and the seat of the diocese of Banja Luka that has suffered a lot. A city that is proud of both Ferhat Pasha Mosque and the Cathedral of St. Bonaventure. The city of Svetozar Tisa Milosavljević, Veselin Masleša, Marijan Beneš, but also of Hieromartyr Platon, Bishop of Banja Luka, whom we also remember today – said Minister Vučević.

The Minister of Defence said that Banja Luka was the city of freedom that it had achieved thanks to its citizens.
- In every epoch in its history, hordes sought to enslave and destroy it. But it always rose from ruins and was rebuilt. Banja Luka was able to do that thanks to its honest citizens who wanted freedom. A city with such a history, with so many victims, including our 12 little angels - 12 Banja Luka babies, can only be a freedom-loving city - said the Minister of Defence.

Over the past period, Minister Vučević said, Banja Luka has grown, developed and has been built.

- I was filled with great happiness at every new building, school, kindergarten, clinic, multi-purpose facility on Petrićevac and every time Banja Luka received assistance from the brotherly Republic of Serbia. Serbia, which seeks to help all its children and all well-intentioned people. We can freely say that in this sense we are experiencing and witnessing a historic renewal and that we are working on it with all our heart. In this regard, it is my honour to convey to you the greetings from your honorary citizen - the President of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Aleksandar Vučić. Since he took office, dear brothers and sisters, we have begun to build, create and remember who and what we are. Deeply rooted in our glorious history, we create using wisdom, forethought and honesty. This is the only way to create a home, a family, and a state, and to defend peace and freedom - all the things that are most sacred to us, said Minister Vučević. Today, he said, Banja Luka looks more beautiful and powerful than ever before, but this trend towards development must continue and expand throughout Republika Srpska.

Serbia has an obligation, Minister Vučević said, to always be there for Republika Srpska, and to pursue a policy aimed at preserving peace and stability, respecting others, but also having self-respect.
- Dear citizens of Banja Luka, be yourselves and stay what you are - heroes and winners. Independent people! I wish you peace and prosperity. I would like us to be proud of each other and to always be there for each other. Good luck, Banja Luka, you freedom-loving city, the capital of Republika Srpska! - said Minister Vučević.
The President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik said that he was still proud of the decision he had made in 1998, that the seat of Republika Srpska should be in Banja Luka, because that was the role that belonged to it.

- It is a city that has a great history, a city that has unquestionably remained the city of these people who are proud of having their own river and alleys. A city that no citizen of Banja Luka has ever given up on, no matter where they were. A city that was built by generations, each one making it better and more beautiful. That is why it is great today, because all the efforts, desires and unfulfilled dreams of past generations are sublimated in it. We owe a debt of gratitude to those generations for everything they did, from the very beginning - the founding of this city, until today. And everyone has woven something into this city - said President Dodik.
According to the Mayor of Banja Luka, Draško Stanivuković, today, for the first time in the history of Republika Srpska, as Banja Luka celebrates its freedom, families of fallen soldiers, disabled veterans and large families are sitting in the front rows at this celebratory event.
  - We had to defend our existence here, in these parts. And those battles have never stopped. But we have put those large families in the first rows, because our future is equally important to us as our glorious past that helped us preserve the freedom-loving Banja Luka. Children guarantee our future here. Big thanks to all the people in Banja Luka, in our wonderful Republika Srpska, who have large families, who look to the future and make sure that children are born and stay here. That is our road map. In addition to being a legacy of those who fought for Republika Srpska, it must also be a signpost for all future generations who come to Banja Luka and Republika Srpska and want to live here - said Mayor Stanivuković and thanked the leadership of the Republic of Serbia for everything they did for Banja Luka.
Banja Luka celebrates its City Day in memory of the day when the city was liberated from fascism in 1945. At tonight’s event, awards and acknowledgments were presented to deserving individuals and collectives.