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Belarus President's Victory Day 2017 speech

Every third citizen of Belarus was killed in the most brutal and destructive war of the 20th century, WWII. During the occupation, more than two hundred cities and nearly 10,000 villages were destroyed.

The official celebrations on May 9 began with the laying of wreaths and flowers to the obelisk at Victory Square in the center of Minsk.

President Alexander Lukashenko took part in the festive ceremony. In his opening speech, the head of state said that the Belarusian people will never stop admiring the courage of their fellow countrymen who passed through the fire of war.

There are dozens of bouquets at the obelisk now, including red roses, carnations, and tulips. Alexander Lukashenko laid a wreath of red roses, decorated in national symbols.

Veterans, public figures, diplomats, ordinary Belarusians gathered at Victory Square too. As Alexander Lukashenko noted, May 9 is a special national holiday for all Belarusians.

Belarus has always remembered its history and treated it with great respect.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We will never stop admiring the courage of our fellow countrymen who have passed through the hellish fire of war. They did not kneel before the invaders. The old and the young rose against the oppressors. Hundreds of thousands of guerrillas and underground fighters were smashing the enemy on every scrap of the Belarusian land. Such a powerful resistance to the invaders became a real contribution to the defeat of Nazism and the liberation of Belarus.
From the first days of the war, the sons and daughters of Belarus fought heroically on the fronts. Glorious pages in the military chronicle were written by fighters of frontier guards, the immortal garrison of the Brest Fortress, defenders of Mogilev, underground fighters of Minsk, Orsha, other cities, participants of the legendary Operation Bagration and other major battles of the Great Patriotic War. Here, in the heart of the city-hero Minsk, on the Victory Square, there are capsules with earth from hero-cities: Moscow, Leningrad, Smolensk, Tula, Stalingrad, Kiev, Sevastopol, Kerch, Odessa, Murmansk, and Novorossiysk. Our countrymen, Belarusians, shed their blood in each of them.

To preserve the memory of the Great Patriotic War is the task for all of us.

Perhaps, this is the main thesis of the speech of the head of state. Alexander Lukashenko emphasizes: Belarus has paid a great price for the Victory and it is impossible to erase it from the memory of generations.

Alexander Lukashenko:
The crimes of the German fascist invaders cannot be erased from the memory of people. Those who today are making attempts to rewrite history, to take away from our people the Great Victory should know this. We cannot allow this. Over the years, we understand this increasingly sharply. Especially today, when your ranks, dear veterans, are getting smaller and smaller. When international tension increases, the ideas of world domination are revived. In different regions of the world, armed conflicts are blazing. Mankind found itself near a new big and dangerous war. It is necessary to cherish peace and harmony in our home as the apple of the eye. We must be as united and firm as our fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers at the time of severe trials. Then no one will dare to test our strength. We should cherish peace in our land, at least in the name of the memory of those hundreds of thousands who died on the fronts (we lost a third of the population of our country). This will be the greatest gift not only to living veterans, but, most importantly, to those who gave their lives for everything we use today.

Traditionally, this event gathers dozens of people. Veterans are of course in the forefront.

They are happy to talk with journalists today, talk about the battles in which they participated. And, of course, they remember their front-line comrades. Many of them never returned home, but remained in the memory of generations. The ceremony continued with a minute of silence.

Many veterans admitted that completely unfamiliar people approach them, give flowers, say kind words and congratulate.

Mikhail Shashkov, a veteran of the Great Patriotic War:
For me personally this holiday is very grandiose, the warmest, the brightest. This is our prayer, I would say so. Such victory is unprecedented in our history in terms of importance, relevance and weight.

Viktor Kostko, veteran of the Great Patriotic War:
We remember well May 9, 1945. It was a holiday, it was the Victory with tears in our eyes. Therefore, this holiday will live forever, we are proud and at the same time mourn for the losses.

In 2017, many young Belarusians took part in the ceremony. This is very symbolic. At the end of the ceremony, the children lined up to form number 72 and released pigeons into the sky. These are birds that symbolize peace and prosperity. 

In the evening, a big concert will take place in the square. This will be followed by a bright festive fireworks display.

Belarus President's Victory Day 2017 speech