Vučić presents Vidovdan decorations: "I choose the path of wisdom over great courage"
President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, presented Vidovdan decorations to deserving individuals and institutions.Source: B92
Upon president's arrival, the anthem of the Republic of Serbia was heard.
"For centuries now, we have been answering the same question on every June 28. Do we celebrate victory or defeat? From generation to generation, from politics to politics, the answers change. Interestingly, the Serbian people always had the opportunity to see everything on Vidovdan (St Vitus Day). Vidovdan is the most precise way to measure time. As Bishop Nikolaj said: 'It is our national Golgotha, but at the same time our national resurrection, spiritual and moral. It gave us a gallery of knights of the faith worth more than galleries of marble statues'."
The President also reminded of the sacrifice of our ancestors in Kosovo and Metohija.
“Our ancestors defended civilization and culture, ancient, we would say European today, and certainly Serbian values,” he said, adding that it is “the star whose light we follow, the ideal and moral line”.
"Prince Nikola Petrović visits King Milan Obrenović on St Vitus Day, and that is the most beautiful welcome that anyone has ever experienced. Nikola Tesla always gave a special place to Kosovo and Vidovdan. Also on Vidovdan, the young patriot Princip, like Obilić before him, committed tyrannical murder", added Vučić.
President once again emphasized how important today's holiday is and the medals that are awarded for success.
"Vidovdan must be a symbol that makes us create new symbols, a life from which we create new life. What we should look for in Vidovdan is our future. That is another reason why we are awarding you these recognitions today," President added.
"There is no greater responsibility"
President Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday that Serbia has to look to Europe for the future of its children but in the same time preserve its right to different opinions.
“That is Europe, diversity and the right to a different opinion,” he said on a ceremony. Vidovdan is a national holiday, marked on the anniversary of the 1389 battle of Kosovo which Serbian medieval ruler Lazar lost to the invading Ottoman empire.
Vucic said that the public has to know that they get their salaries and pensions thanks to wisdom and attracted investments. “Serbia today is moving forward quickly, I dare say faster than ever in history. Serbia will be a successful country on the European road which does not renounce its traditional friendships and which will not allow anyone to jeopardize its independence,” he said.
President emphasized the importance of good relations with other peoples with whom we live together in the same country.
"We should have the closest relationship to our Hungarian and our Bosniak brothers, and to the Romanians, and to the Ruthenians, and to our Roma brothers," he added.
"We are equally poor and rich, we think equally how we will survive this winter. And that is why today I want to tell them that we will know how to overcome all difficulties, and that Serbia will be a successful country that will preserve its independence, and that we will protect Serbia that it will be on the European path, but it will not allow anyone to jeopardize its independence", he added.
"I want us to progress quickly, and believe me, even when I publicly give up great courage, it will not be less than our ancestors indebted us. Long live the unity of the Serbian people and our beautiful Serbia," Vucic concluded.
List of decorated persons and institutions
President then presented state decorations to prominent citizens and friends of Serbia, including former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Slovak Evangelical Church in Serbia, the national football and basketball team coaches Dragan Stojkovic and Svetislav Pesic, British actor Ralph Fiennes, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and Portuguese Fado singer Mariza.
The ceremony was attended by Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and members of her cabinet, Parliament Speaker Ivica Dacic and Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency member Milorad Dodik and Republika Srpska President Zeljka Cvijanovic, former Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and Milan Milutinovic along with Serbian Orthodox Church dignitaries.
Academician Vasilije Krestic delivered a speech on behalf of all the decorated
"It is a formal and real confirmation that the decades-long work is not in vain, but that it has repercussions in society. That is how I feel with a lot of gratitude for the medal of the Karadjordje's star that was awarded to me. I will be free to say a few words about the relationship between science and politics. As I belong to a generation that was active during the one-party system, I must say that that time was more than difficult. If there was more will and wisdom, that time could be instructive, not to repeat mistakes", said Krestic.
He added that science and politics should not be at odds, but in an alliance, and that the time for the brutal imposition of ideology and politics on science has fortunately passed.
"Today, it cannot be said that politics in our country turns science into its servant, and the freedom of scientific thought is not limited. But science is not much respected either. The proof for that is that I am the first person from the domain of science to take this high state recognition. I don't think I will be wrong if I say that in our country, politics and science go on special tracks, without touching and permeating", the academic added.
"Concluding this short presentation, with an expression of gratitude on behalf of all of us, I will be free to end this word by sticking to the profession to which I have dedicated my entire working life. If historia est testis temporum, lux veritatis, vita memoriae, magistra vitae, it will be useful not only for those who cherish the past, but also for those who are at the helm of the state, to help them learn lessons from the past about our present and future," Krestić concluded.