The 30th anniversary of the formation of the 2nd Guards Brigade “Gromovi” (Thunders) took place on Friday in Petrinja.
The day commenced with the laying of a wreath and lighting of candles for the Croatian defenders who lost their lives in the Homeland War.
Attending the anniversary commemoration was Croatian President and Commander in Chief of the Croatian Armed Forces Zoran Milanović who also presented berets to members of the 2nd Mechanized Battalion “Gromovi” (Thunders) on the day.
In his speech, President Milanović said that the Croatian Army is a modern army of a democratic state, a state of equal citizens. which participates in international missions.
“You will also participate in international missions. In deciding on where, when, how and in what formation we will go, we will take into account that we are first of all defending Croatian interests”, the President said, and underlined that the Croatian Army will be sent to international missions where its troops can learn, work on themselves and build their careers. “Where we will not unnecessarily get involved in the conflicts and quarrels of others”, the President noted.
To that effect he referred to the oath that the soldiers have taken: “An oath that was written by someone, having evidently well reflected on it, ‘In your veins flow a centuries-old experience and the blood of Croatian fortresses’, as it was said. Fortresses have always defended. Greed and a want for what belonged to others motivated our armies seldom and if ever. A fortress, for centuries from the first Croatian dukes and kings, to Ottoman Turkish wars, to this last war. Always fortresses, always on our own land”, President Milanović stated. He told them as soldiers and professionals to work every day on their physical condition, knowledge and education.
“Today we see how wars are being fought, how the world is agitated and what changes are taking place right before our eyes. This isn’t a normal time and we have to be adapted the whole time taking into account that our interests have to be clearly defined, our limits, over what things we can’t get past and how much we have to put aside for that”, the President noted. In this context he added that the Croatian Army should and must be equipped in an appropriate way.
“Dear Thunders, as of today you are real Croatian soldiers. It is the most organised structure in the Croatian state. This is demonstrated through events such as disasters, earthquakes, which isn’t the fundamental reason why you accepted and dedicated yourselves to this military calling and this difficult way of life. However such situations demonstrate that the army is the most organised and that it can be relied on with the greatest degree of security”, the President of the Republic said in concluding his address at the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the formation of the the 2nd Guards Brigade “Gromovi” (Thunders).