Monday, 12 November 2018

Gojkovic Opens Exhibition “The End of the Great War 1917-1918”

The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic opened the exhibition “The End of the Great War 1917-1918” at the Historical Museum tonight, saying that it honoured the brave ancestors whose hardships, suffering and ultimately great victory wrote the most glorious pages of Serbian history.

Gojkovic said that that history still makes us the proudest citizens of Europe and the world because, without asking what the price might be, in an epic struggle, we managed to wrest out of the chaos of the biggest conflict in the history of the human race, freedom for out motherland.

“From the day Serbian Prime Minister Nikola Pasic read the telegram in Nis with which they wanted to decide Serbia’s fate to Marshall Ferdinand Foch’s signature in the Compiègne Wagon in France the Serbian people underwent terrible hardships that were supposed to lead to the eradication of the whole nation, but with superhuman strength this small nation stood against them and proved its mettle in its struggles and victories”, said Gojkovic reminding the attending that in the war Serbia lost almost a third of its people and made a huge sacrifice for its freedom, the freedom of Europe and the world.

Because we are descended from such an ancestry, we are today duty-bound to keep the memory of them alive, stressed the National Assembly Speaker adding that the bravery of the Serbian people, its love of freedom and the motherland even when many had written the country off, won Serbia its many friendships, support and admiration across Europe and the world.

Gojkovic said that the world commemorated the centenary of the WWI Armistice in Paris yesterday, celebrating peace, but at the same time one cannot fail to notice that the same mechanisms, impulses and interests which caused the Great War have not completely disappeared.

Gojkovic reminded the attending that globalization and interests of the conflicting big powers sometimes overlook the interests and needs of other people considering them inconsequential.

“This reality pushes us to conserve peace and with it the lives we lost so easily in the past, to finally have something of our own and protect it from everyone, not least from our own romantic notions of grandeur, that we can change the world, and to start to take care of our own interests and never again consent to make them less than a priority for us too”, said Gojkovic.

This exhibition, she said, is not just a reminder of the glorious past which, as was evident in Paris yesterday, many do not have, but a caution, warning and lesson on priorities.

“It warns us, by reminding us of our tragic past, to understand what we need to do for the future in order to have one at all because the big sacrifices of us, small nations are apparently inconsequential to history even when, like in WWI, they are bigger, percentage-wise, than any of the others’. We should not forget this. Not to us and not to them”, said Gojkovic.

The Serbian Assembly Speaker said that they did not manage to break Serbia a century ago, that it kept its freedom-loving spirit, aware that that is the only way it can live with dignity in its own country, stressing that even today Serbia has no bigger interest or more important mission than preserve its hard-won freedom, peace and stability.

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