Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Minister Vučević unveils monument to soldiers killed in 1990s wars in Bačka Topola

Minister of Defence Miloš Vučević unveiled today in the "Bačka" barracks a monument to solders who lost their lives in the wars of the 1990s in Bačka Topola. Minister Vučević unveiled the monument together with Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs Nikola Selaković and Verica Kaluđerović - the president of the Assembly of the Association of War Disabled Veterans and Families of Fallen Soldiers Bačka Topola, who is also the wife of a fallen soldier.
  Addressing the gathering, Minister Vučević said that “apart from the fact that all the heroes whose names are inscribed on the monument were in some way connected to the territory of Bačka Topola, whether through family, home address, place of birth or their final resting place, regardless of their age, of whether they were Serbs or Hungarians, Orthodox or Roman Catholic, believers or unbelievers - there is something else that ties them even today when we honour and pay our respects to them – the fact that they kept their word.

- They swore to their country, which was called Yugoslavia then, and is called Serbia now, that they would defend it, no matter who attacked it, no matter what threat it faced, no matter how great the force that hit them was. All those who gave their lives kept their word and they deserve respect and recognition. Unfortunately, like many times before in our history, their names fell into oblivion, so much so that for several decades no one mentioned them, it was embarrassing to even talk about them and mentioning our heroes’ names irritated the ones who had killed them. As if we should be shy of the murderers, of those who shot and fired missiles at our heroes - said Minister Vučević.
Unfortunately, he said, the veil of oblivion covered their heroism and hid their deeds from the public eye.
- The ones who did not allow such situation to remain forever and who made sure that the truth saw the light of day, were their families and their friends. And recently, the Serbian state has found the strength to speak out and call things by their real name, to pay tribute to its heroes, to thank all those who defended the country no matter when or where, no matter whether they fought and defended their country in 1990-1991, or 1998-1999. They all defended their country and their people - Minister Vučević said.

Minister Vučević expressed his deep gratitude to Minister Selaković for everything he had done for the culture of remembrance.
- When we took office in this Government, whose term will expire in a few days, I said that, knowing you, you could do a lot in this field and you were brave enough and able to receive people and listen to them. The families of the deceased, associations, war veterans, soldiers, they were the signposts showing you where you needed to go and where we all needed to go, and I hope you will be committed to the same kind of work in the future as well - stressed Minister Vućević.
  Addressing the families of the deceased, war-disabled, veterans and soldiers, Minister Vučević apologized, but also expressed his gratitude.
- Please accept our state’s apologies for being silent for many years, and a big thank you for everything you have done. May our heroes be remembered forever and may the Lord forgive their every voluntary and involuntary sin. May their souls rest in heavenly abode, and we can only say one thing to murderers and villains - we will never forget or forgive. May the Lord be your judge. Long live our heroes, long live our heroic army and long live Serbia! - Minister Vučević said at the end of his speech.

Minister Selaković expressed his satisfaction with the fact that only a few months after laying the foundation stone for this monument, the moment has come for us to consecrate and unveil it. This monument, said Minister Selaković, is dedicated to people who had a big heart and felt great love for their neighbours and their homeland.
  - Engraved on this monument are the names of the people who proved with their sacrifice the greatness of their love for their homeland, their people, and their neighbours. The supreme sacrifice. Hereby we once again inscribe their names in the book of eternity so that they are never forgotten, so that we never forget that they fought for Serbia, that they gave their lives fighting for a just and right cause, proving how much they loved their neighbours, their people and their country. Thank you and may you rest in eternal glory and never be forgotten. Long live Serbia - said Minister Selaković.
The president of the Association’s assembly, Verica Kaluđerović, said that they were happy to be able to pay tribute with this monument to the heroes who had given their lives for their homeland and thanked the Ministry of Defence for allowing the memorial to be erected in the barracks in Bačka Topola.
- Every epoch has its heroes, these are the heroes of the wars that took place from 1990 to 1999. It is our duty to keep alive the memory of their sacrifice - said Verica Kaluđerović. The idea of ​​erecting this monument, she said, which was first put forward in 2005, was implemented after the change in the policy of the Serbian state, and especially of President Aleksandar Vučić, towards the families of fallen soldiers, war-disabled and veterans.
  A prayer for the unveiling of the monument was said by the military priest Captain 1st Class Ljubiša Čović.
The unveiling of the monument was attended by members of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, members of the Association of War Disabled Veterans and Families of Fallen Soldiers Bačka Topola, representatives of the Provincial Association of War Disabled Veterans and Families of Fallen Soldiers, the Association of the 63rd Parachute Brigade Veterans, representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the local self-government and numerous guests.
The monument, which consists of a pedestal supporting a statue of a soldier, was erected in honour of the fallen soldiers of the 1990s wars. It commemorates the fallen members of the army, who gave their lives for the homeland. The names of the soldiers are written in the official scripts of the nations the soldiers belonged to. The author of the statue is Franjo Mačković, the project architect is Ljubica Dašić, and the contractor is Nikola Kosanović.