2018-03-03 12:37:00

Speech by President Rumen Radev delivered at the Shipka peak

Esteemed Mrs. Speaker of the National Assembly,

Your Holinesses,

Esteemed Mayors and District Governors,

Esteemed Assembly Deputies,

Your Excellences,

Esteemed Generals, Officers, Sergeants and Soldiers,

Dear Compatriots,

Today, we have gathered at the famous, wild peak to bow our heads to the heroes of Bulgarian liberty and to pay tribute to our common past. There are many bones buried under the snow, in the earth of St. Nicola, Okolchitsa, Eagle’s Nest and the surrounding redoubts. Some 140 years later you can hardly tell which the bones of the Bulgarians are and which the Russian ones are. However, Bulgaria's freedom and the Russian and Bulgarian military glory was built on the fundament of these bones. Shipka is the capital of national dignity in history bequeathed to us, the descendants, by a few thousand valiant men, and we should never waste this capital.

Dear Compatriots,

Throughout the years, in the heat of August and amid the snowstorms of March, you have attended this monument, even when the politicians did not. Because you knew that with your presence, with the tribute you pay, you construct the historical truth. You, young or old compatriots, have been the army of volunteers fighting to defend the historical truth, which you never allowed to be desecrated or rejected. It is to you that I am extending my human gratitude.

I would like to thank His Holiness Neophyte and Metropolitan of Sofia and His Holiness Cyril, Patriarch of Moscow, and the whole of Russia, for the joint religious service and the words of wisdom, and for the appreciation and gratitude and the spirit of Christianity, which never forgets but forgives. It rationalizes freedom and lifts up man. This is the spirit of Christianity where self-sacrifice is the road to freedom because the Shipka hecatomb opened the doors to our country's liberation.

May the memories of heroes live forever!

May we forever be grateful to the warriors of the Tsar-liberator!

Long Live Bulgaria!