Ceremony to mark Independence Day at Mound of Glory memorial complex
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko took part a ceremony to mark Independence Day at the Mound of Glory memorial complex on 3 July.
"Today our country celebrates the main state holiday - Independence Day. We celebrate it at the foot of the majestic monument. The monument that was erected in honor of the heroes who liberated Belarus from the Nazi invaders," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President stressed that the Mound of Glory is a holy place. It was the place of fierce battles. Thousands of soldiers and officers gave their lives for the sake of future generations. "Here, the fraternal ties of the large multinational country were sealed with blood. The fighters did not divide themselves into Belarusians and Russians, Ukrainians and Kazakhs, Armenians and Georgians, Tajiks and Kyrgyz, Azerbaijanis, Uzbeks and others. They did not divide the land into their own and someone else's. They fought for our Fatherland," the head of state said.
"We are standing at the place where the Minsk cauldron was closed. The offensive operation Bagration is rightly called the triumph of the Soviet military art. This battle went down in history as the largest defeat of the fascist troops in World War II. About 400,000 soldiers, officers, generals of the Wehrmacht and the SS were killed and captured. They were shown to the whole world. They were taken to Moscow for a march of shame, the traces of which were washed away by watering machines that followed. The newly-minted Nazis would better review that footage. They want to forget, but you and I should not let them. No one should forget this. We must not forget so that it does not happen again," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
"Belarus honors and remembers the feat of the Soviet people. Today, all our memorials are showered with flowers. In every corner of Belarus. The smallest monument, a grave of Soviet soldiers is showered with flowers. We bow our heads to our compatriots. We thank the soldiers of the fraternal republics. Thousands have found their last refuge in our land. The streets of our cities bear the names of many of them. They will live in the hearts of the Belarusian people forever. A low bow and eternal memory to the winners!" the President said.
During the ceremony, a minute of silence was observed in tribute to the memory of the fallen heroes and brutally murdered civilians.
"The Great Patriotic War taught Belarusians to value life, peace and freedom. Therefore, today, 3 July, on the day of the liberation of our capital, Minsk, we celebrate Independence Day of independent Belarus. I am very happy to see young people from Russia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, participants of the Memory Train project, who came to share this holiday with us. Over time, the train will surely gather together all the heirs of the victorious nations. From all the republics of the Soviet Union. I am absolutely convinced of this. After all, we share one memory of that war, one victory and one truth!" Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state urged to stay together to guarantee peace in such a difficult time. "Only together can we be free and independent," he said.
"Dear friends! The future of Belarus is created by your dreams and aspirations that are realized thanks to the hard work and responsibility of each of us. We have one land, one country - our dear Belarus. This is our greatest value. They [the generation of winners] bequeathed us to take care of it. And we will. Now it's the turn of the youth. Take care of this piece of land, you will not have another," the President said addressing the Belarusians.