Central ceremony to mark Statehood Day/VIDEO
The central state ceremony to mark Serbia's Statehood Day, Sretenje, was held in Orasac on Friday.Source: Tanjug, srbija.gov.rs
The day commemorates two pivotal events in the efforts to rebuild a Serbian state after centuries of Ottoman Turkish occupation: the First Serbian Uprising of 1804, led by Djordje "Karadjordje" Petrovic, and the adoption of the Sretenje Constitution in 1835.
Leading the ceremony in Orasac, where the Uprising was launched, was Prime Minister Ana Brnabic. Citizens carrying flags, and ministers Jadranka Joksimovic, Nenad Popovic, Branko Ruzic, Aleksandar Antic, and Zoran Djordjevic were in attendance, as well as Serb Republic (RS) President Zeljka Cvijanovic and Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic.
Members of the Church, the Army, and the diplomatic corps were also present today.
Brnabic and Cvijanovic laid a laurel wreath at the Monument to Kradjordje, while Bishop Jovan of the Serbian Orthodox Church served a memorial service for the rebels and their leader.
In Belgrade, President Aleksandar Vucic presented state decorations to deserving individuals and institutions.
The Serbian government published excerpts from Brnabic's speech in Orasac, where she said that the president of Serbia and the Serbian government are conducting a responsible policy that will bring progress and benefit to all citizens of Serbia in the long run, without difference, because it is a policy of essential transformation of our country.
"Today we are marking the 215th anniversary of the modern Serbian state. The beginning of the First Serbian Uprising, 15 February 1804, marked the beginning of the transition process of an economically backward Ottoman province into one of the most free societies in Europe of the Napoleonic era.
Exactly 31 years later, on Sretenje, in 1835, led by Grand Prince Milos, Serbia got one of the most advanced and most liberal constitutions in Europe - the Sretenje Constitution.
These key and decisive events from the history of our country are important today for understanding and interpreting this moment when Serbia, like so many times before, faces important challenges, choices and decisions that will create the future of our country.
And the future depends on us.
The call of Serbian Vozd Karadjordje to people’s leaders in all 17 districts to rise and resist the Turkish oppression, today is a symbolic call on all of us to get rid of our bad habits, of our old and retrograde ways of thinking and take responsibility for our own life and the future of Serbia.
If you want good to yourself, if you good to your children, you have to fight each day for a better future of the country you live in.
We can learn a lot from our history. Just as they built human integrity and bravery into the foundations of the Serbian state, it is our task to build knowledge and prepare our youth properly for the future.
Only with hard work and readiness for lifelong learning and personal development can we become a society of successful, free and happy individuals.
We have successfully completed the process of fiscal consolidation, the implementation of urgent and extraordinary measures of economic recovery of the country and the rescue from the national disaster on the edge of which we were in 2012.
We are changing Serbia and building a better future for all our citizens.
Sustainable development, economic growth, a better standard of living and quality of life for all of our citizens, that is what we are daily working on.
Our vision of the future is a modern Serbia.
We are creating new opportunities for the future generations.
We put the citizens in the center of our policy.
We are creating a strong economy.
We are changing the image of Serbia in the world.
The policy that Serbia is conducting is a policy of cooperation with all partners, a willingness to dialogue and a compromise in resolving all open issues, with full respect for the national interests of Serbia.
We respect all our partners and we keep our word. Therefore, we are internationally recognised today as a reliable partner and Serbia's positions are respected whether or not our partners share the same views.
I wish you a Happy Statehood Day of the Republic of Serbia! Long live Serbia!", Prime Minister Brnabic concluded.