ZAGREB, 28 May 2021 (CW/Hina) – Today, the Croatian Army marks the 30th anniversary of the formation of the National Guard, Croatian Army Day and Croatian Ground Army Day.
In the morning, President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Croatian Armed Forces Zoran Milanović laid wreaths and lit candles in front of the monument “Glas hrvatske žrtve – Zid boli“, Central Cross in Aleja for killed Croatian war veterans, the tombs of the first President of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tuđman, and the common graves for unidentified victims of the Homeland War at the Crematorium – Cenotaph at the Mirogoj City Cemetery in Zagreb.
Following this, the special day was marked at the football stadium in Kranjčevićeva Street with a line-up of units with the accompaniment of 30 artillery salvos and a fly over of MIGs.
Part of the celebrations also took place at Zagreb’s Lake Jarun, with a presentation of military equipment.
Decorations were also bestowed on the most deserving members and employees of the Croatian Army at a ceremony at the Croatian National Theatre.
Congratulating Armed Forces members on their day, he recalled the lining up of the Croatian National Guard in Zagreb’s Kranjčićeva Street 30 years ago, thanking everyone who was there as well as those who were not because, he said, at that time they were already risking their lives by defending Croatia.
Croatia is different, special
“This is your day. Croatia had a long, difficult, complicated path. We are different and we are special. We are the only country that had to go through a war after 1990 (…) and had to fight for what to others had come easy. That’s why we are different,” Milanović said.
That difference is also reflected in the fact that we are sometimes misunderstood and hurt, he added. “But we don’t care. We, you especially, know that our path was right, just, and that we were guided by the fight for our state, for our historical right, which all peoples have.”
We were not meant to achieve that peacefully, and without you none of that would have happened, without the few good and special people who gathered in Kranjčićeva Street or there were people were being killed, Milanović said, thanking those who fought in the 1991-95 Homeland War.
Those who are not among us would have been proud today to see that Croatia has come there where it always wished to be, that it’s an independent country of the West, of the Western civilisation to which it belongs, with all due respect and understanding to those that are not, he said.
“That’s Croatia, that’s the Croatian goal, the Croatian path, and on that path we, that is you, are the winners. Once again, thank you for everything,” he told war veterans.
“All those who did not come back, we will remember them forever,” he said, adding “Long live our Croatia and may it be peaceful because it is protected by the Croatian Army.”
The anniversary concluded with a gala concert.