Serbia to mark Armistice Day as state holiday
This year, Serbia will for the first time mark WW1 Armistice Day, November 11, as state holiday commemorating the victims of the 1914-1918 war.Source: Tanjug
The new state holiday was introduced through amendments to the Law on State and Other Holidays in December last year as Armistice Day, which is marked by all WW1 allies, Tanjug quoted Ivana Mrkić-Lekić, an official at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, as saying.
She noted that Armistice Day was declared a non-working day since it was an important day in the history of Serbia. The forces of the Serbian Kingdom fought on the side of the Allies in the First World War.
The marking of the holiday is also meant to commemorate the huge civilian and military losses suffered by the nation.
One of the symbols of the holiday in Serbia is Ramonda Nathalie, or "phoenix flower", which can fully recover even if it wilts completely, thereby referring to the resurrection of the Serbian state after the devastating war.
The holiday badge is a combination of the image of the flower, named after Queen Natalija Obrenović of Serbia, and the Albanian Memorial medal which was awarded to the Serbian soldiers who withdrew through Albania during World War I.
It is expected that participants of Armistice Day celebrations will wear badges with the symbol.
The central ceremony will be held on Mt. Avala, and Chief of the Serbian Army General Staff Lt. Gen. Ljubiša Diković will lay a laurel wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on behalf of the Serbian president.
The wreaths will also be laid at the Monument to the Liberators of Belgrade in World War I at the New cemetery, and representatives of all the Allies, but also those from the countries which fought against the Allies, will pay homage to the victims.
The wreaths will also be laid at the Commonwealth military cemetery, the Russian ossuary, the French military cemetery, and the Italian military cemetery.