ZAGREB, 29 May 2019 – The President of the Republic and Commander in Chief of the Croatian Armed Forces Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović participated in a formal session held on the occasion of Croatian Army Day, Croatian Armed Forces Day and the 28th anniversary of the creation of the Croatian Armed Forces.
In her congratulatory address to the members of the Armed Forces, President Grabar-Kitarović thanked them for their honourable and self-sacrificing service to the Croatian Homeland in carrying out regular tasks, developing capabilities and training, participating in peace support operations and missions, and in assisting the civilian population. She reminded that opinion polls show that Croatian people have the highest confidence in the Croatian army. “May this be an honour to you and a stimulus for further exemplary service and even more determination to strive for excellence in every task assigned to you”, the President stated.
Recalling the historical day of 28 May 1991 when the first Croatian President Franjo Tuđman inspected the line-up of special units at the Kranjčevićeva Street stadium and when the Croatian public got acquainted with its army, the President noted that we will never allow that moment and the truth about that part of our history to fall into oblivion. “It heralded the creation of the Croatian State, it foreboded difficult moments ahead, but first of all it heralded Croatian freedom”, she added.
The memory of the days of the creation and defence of the Croatian State and of all Croatian defenders, especially those who gave up their lives for the homeland, is a sacred treasure of our homeland, President Grabar-Kitarović noted. She underlined that in the past we allowed the truth about our recent history to be relativized. She added that this motivated her to initiate the new decoration, the Order of Franjo Tuđman.
She highlighted that our task to new generations of Armed Forces members is to pass on the memory of these events and the heroism in the defence of the Republic of Croatia and to create awareness that it is a privilege to wear the insignia of the Croatian army that their predecessors wore on the Croatian uniform, many of them who sacrificed their lives for the homeland wearing these insignia.
Today we are continuing to upgrade and modernize the Croatian Armed Forces, not as a means of threat or coercion, but as a guarantor of peace, freedom and prosperity for the Republic of Croatia”, the Commander in Chief of the Croatian Armed Forces stated, emphasizing that a lot has been achieved in the past period. In this context she mentioned the gradual increases in the defence budget creating preconditions for larger investments in the Croatian army, returning the splendour to the Croatian army and the dignity to each of its members by improving their working and living conditions, increasing investments in their training and education and hastened equipping and modernization.
“We are continuing to upgrade and modernize the Croatian army of which all the heroes who lined up on 28 May 1991 in Kranjčevićeva Street would be proud. We do this in their memory and in the memory of all the others who fell for our homeland as a pledge to our future. Our contemporary world is full of challenges, threats and instabilities. We will know how to confront them with you as the guardians of the Croatian State”, President Grabar-Kitarović concluded her address.
(Office of the President)