President Alexander Lukashenko lays wreath at Victory Monument on May 9th, 2013
Dear fellow countrymen and guests of the capital!
According to worthy tradition, we’ve gathered here again, in the heart of Minsk, a Hero City, to honour the sacred and dear holiday of Victory Day.
We’re celebrating the 68th anniversary and 68th peaceful spring. We no longer hear the clatter of weaponry or the sound of bombs falling on our land. Dug-out shelters and trenches are now overgrown with grass and the zelotic stoves of the concentration camps are cool. Moreover, new cities and villages have replaced ruins and burned areas.
The land has recovered from its wounds and life reigns over death. Nevertheless, war will never be a thing of the distant past for the Belarusian people, who lost a third of their citizens to the struggle against Fascism. It remains in the memory of the generation of victors, and their grateful descendants. The lessons of war are an education for all humanity.
Some constantly try to ‘revise’ the history of the Great Patriotic War, reducing the significance of the heroic struggle of the Soviet people and blackening the name of the partisan movement, while rehabilitating Fascist executioners and, especially, their vassals.
Our duty and our sacred mission is to preserve the truth about that war and about the legendary heroic deeds of the Soviet nation, preserving memories
of its major achievement – the Great Victory!
We’ll always remember how the virus of the ‘brown plague’ appeared, generated by the inhuman ideology of Nazism and the timorous policy of peaceful powers. Having created a monster, they were the first victims of the Fascist military machine.
After conquering Europe within just a few months, Hitler’s legions approached the borders of the Soviet Union. However, their strategists forgot the historical warning of the sacred defender of Slavonic lands, Alexander Nevsky: ‘Those who come with a sword will die by that sword’.
Belarus was the first border of defence and did not bend to its knee before the enemy. The heroic deeds of the defenders of Brest Fortress, the courage of hundreds of thousands of partisans and under-grounders, as well as the dignity of the soldier-liberators who saved our Motherland from the Fascist yoke, are inscribed into the annals of domestic history in golden letters.
It was on the lands of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine that the never before defeated Wehrmacht was stopped and the destiny of Europe was decided. We will never let anyone forget that it was the Soviet people who made the decisive contribution in defeating the Nazis, through unbelievable effort and countless sacrifices.
Those who did not return home from the war rest in peace under thousands of monuments and in numerous graves: marked and unmarked. While our Earth revolves around the Sun and while our hearts are beating, we will remember their deeds. We have no right to forget.
The Belarusian State Museum of Great Patriotic War History, which is currently under construction in Minsk, is the embodiment of our national memory. This magnificent memorial shows that we keep the truth about the days of war and respect deeply those who fought against the Nazi aggressors.
In our glorious past, nations have sought sources with which to strengthen their spiritual powers. The memory of the Great Patriotic War and your heroic deeds is necessary in helping us approach the future with confidence; we are inspired by the magnificence of the past.
Accept our huge gratitude for this holiday, for the peaceful sky over our heads and for our life, as well as for this wonderful country, which is growing, developing and improving with each day.
I’m confident that our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will multiply the traditions of dignity and courage, handed down by you.
I wish you, and all those you hold close and dear, health, success, welfare, happiness and prosperity.
Congratulations on Victory Day, dear veterans!