|S p e e c h
at Zejtinlik Military Cemetery in Thessaloniki
We are here today at the place where hope is mixed with pride. This is the place of glory, the place of warning and hope, the place of permanent link with and memory of Salonika heroes.
Eighty years ago, Salonika was the starting point of the Serbian Army's glorious attack to free its homeland. Under the command of my grandfather, Regent Alexander, the Army did its duty, but casualties were high. Some of them rest here at Zejtinlik and we have come here today to bow to their memory and to pay homage to all Serbian soldiers who had given their lives for the liberation of Serbia. Their spirit lives on and shows us the road ahead.
There was a time when our grief for the fallen warriors was eased by our knowledge of their great achievement. The objective they achieved was worthy of their sacrifice. This army of crosses, these soldiers' bones laid in an orderly fashion, this eternal Serbian garrison - they all stand witness to the heroism and patriotism of the Serbian man. Each grave here marks a unique personality, each inscription tells us of ancestors and descendants and each cross is a mirror, which reflects our image and the fate of our people.
Today, when we see that many objectives of these victims have been betrayed and sold out, our grief escalates into anger! But the sacrifice of Salonika heroes was not in vain. It had brought glory to the Serbian name throughout the world, and to this day inspires all of us and is an example to us how to serve our homeland. This is why we have no right to stand idly by, but must go forward. We have no right to despair, but must raise our heads and our hearts. We owe this to ourselves, to our children and grandchildren, but also to the heroes who rest here. They live on this earth only through us as an example and a warning to the present and future generations. We must never betray those heroes!
Eternal glory and our thanks to them!