Solemn observance on Serbian Armed Forces Day
Monday, 23.4.2018 | Culture and traditions
The Solemn observance on the occasion of the SAF Day has been held tonight at the Sava Centre, and the central event was attended by the state and military leadership of the Republic of Serbia.
The representative of the President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin, addressing the gathering, pointed out that today, on the day when our fathers got up to die on their feet not to live on their knees, it is an opportunity to remember who we are, where we are and where we are going to, it is an opportunity to see among us what we have done this year and in the years behind us, from holidays to holidays, from memory to memory, to be more diligent and better.
- With the tremendous support of the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, with the enormous work of the youngest soldier, all the way to the Chief of the General Staff and every member of the Ministry of Defence, we have changed and did everything we could to be better, Minister Vulin said, adding that the salaries in the system increased by 10 percent, daily allowances increased, and that solidarity assistance for the birth of a child was introduced .
The Armed Forces is helping, Minister Vulin said, through housing construction and favourable loans, adding that more than 700 apartments were distributed to active and retired members of the Serbian Armed Forces, among whom the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces do not make difference, with the remark that “once a soldier, always a soldier”.
Свечана академија поводом Дана Војске Србије - We look at what we performed and what we did. We built and we are building hangars for storing the materiel, but we are also refurbishing the Military High Boarding School, we are renewing our Military Academy, improving accommodation capacities for our dearest and best ones and the Sports Centre and shooting range. We are renewing military health care, do everything to make our pharmacies full, to buy every medical aid and every new medical vehicle - the defence minister said, adding that according to the order of the supreme commander, enough uniforms and boots were ordered that each of our active soldiers have at least two pairs of uniforms and new boots.
Minister Vulin emphasized that it will be for the first time since the NATO aggression in 1999, that we will have a squadron of modernized MiG-29s, which will be modernized, as well as helicopters HA145 and MI-17, MI-35, and that we will reinforce our army with T-72 tanks and infantry armoured fighting vehicles .
- And there are Lazar 3, and Nora B-52 self-propelled howitzer, and armoured Miloš and Small Miloš, as well as the plane of our production Lasta and more than 40 different products of our defence industry in the armament of our armed forces. But above all, this is an army made up of people, above all, this is an army made up of people who know that they are part of the population, always and above all the Armed Forces that is carefully watching to make sure no one enters northern Kosovo by force. This is Armed Forces that is the guarantor of the strength and security of our only and dearest Serbia, Serbia which is the guarantor of the Dayton Agreement, and thus of the Republika Srpska, its development, its peace and the rights of our people to last and live, the minister of defence said adding that we are an army of the winners, an army that, with its power and certainty, can rightfully say that Jasenovac and Jadovno, that “Flash” and “Storm” and the March pogrom will never happen again anywhere.
We are, Minister Vulin said, the army of the winners, of the people who are accustomed to enduring, suffering, but never learned to surrender at any cost..
- This is the army and the people who value peace, but love freedom above all. We are the army of which mothers dreamed of in the most difficult moments of our people while looking after their children who have already been pre-sentenced to extermination, telling them: “only when our army, the Serbian army, comes there will be life and peace and there will be a victory”. Because we are the army that waged wars that others asked for and imposed on us, undefeated because it believed in its people and the freedom, being stubborn, tough and resolved never to give up, never to surrender - Minister Vulin pointed out, adding that our military did not learn to capitulate despite the big powers it faced.
The Minister of Defence said to gathered members of the Serbian Armed Forces that he hoped that the prayers that the Serbian people have been uttering for centuries already, silently in themselves, above their sleeping children, will be heard this time, for the first time in a thousand years - our children to be the first generation in history of the Serbian people who will grow up and live in peace.
- But if we are strong enough, if we are sufficiently unified and united, if we are confident enough and prepared, we might make this wish come true for this generation to be the first generation of our people who will not know the war - Minister Vulin emphasized, concluding his address with the message “Long live the Serbian Armed Forces! Long live Serbia!”.
In the spirit of today's holiday, the ceremony began with the sounds of the fanfare, and in the continuation of the programme, the history of the Serbian Armed Forces was presented with reviews of the most important events that marked the crossroads of the Serbian history in the past two centuries.
From the beginnings of the Serbian statehood, won by the First and Second Serbian uprisings, over the First and Second World War, to the Storm Operation and refugee columns, NATO aggression in 1999 and all that followed, a rich multimedia program highlighted the role and significance the Serbian army that has always been where freedom is, using image, speech, music and stage performances to lead the viewers to the final part of the solemn observance dedicated to what the Serbian Armed Forces represent today - a contemporary and modern army and institution with the greatest confidence of our citizens.
Every historical unit was accompanied by the parade of the flags from that period, and special attention of the spectators was attracted by Guard drill, who enriched a sort of “the rifle dance” with the new details they showed tonight for the first time.
On behalf of those members of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, who spend the Serbian Armed Forces Day working, performing their tasks in the country and the world, those gathered were addressed tonight through video-greetings by the Commander of the contingent of the Serbian Armed Forces in the MINUSCA mission in the Central African Republic, Colonel Goran Radosavljević and the Commander of the “Šušnjak” base in the Ground Safety Zone Lieutenant Stefan Biserčić.
The “Stanislav Binički” Artistic Ensemble of the Ministry of Defence, accompanied by the choirs of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, the Faculty of Music Arts and the Children's Cultural Centre Belgrade, with the performance of the soloists, made the evening programme a kind of musical holiday of the Serbian Armed Forces.
The solemn observance and the holiday to which it was dedicated was an opportunity to remember the families of deceased members as well as veterans who were guests at the Sava Centre tonight. Among the guests of the ceremony this evening, there were decorated and awarded members of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces.
Within the celebration of the Serbian Armed Forces Day, on the plateau in front of the Sava Centre, guests had a chance to see a display of part of the arms and military equipment, as well as the products of the Serbian defence industry.
The ceremony at the Sava Centre was attended by representatives of religious communities, diplomatic and military diplomatic corps, public and cultural life, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces with their family members.