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Address by Prime Minister Duško Marković on occasion of 100 years since end of World War I

Address by Prime Minister Duško Marković on occasion of 100 years since end of World War I
Published date: 11.11.2018 10:05 | Author: PR Service

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Dear citizens of Montenegro,

On this day, exactly 100 years ago, the World War I, one of the deadliest conflicts in recent history, which took about 40 million lives and caused unprecedented destruction, was ended, and its main political outcome was the new territorial division of Europe.

Empires disappeared and a large number of new states were created on their ruins.

Only one country, that had consistently and bravely fought on the side of the victorious Entente Powers and suffered heavily losses, was left without a state name and for a long time it has not even been mentioned in that new Europe.

That is why in the Montenegrin memory, 11 November 1918 is a date we mark with divided feelings.

The day of great historical victory of modern Europe, to which Montenegro, with its 400,000 inhabitants, gave 20,000 lives - is the date to honour all the victims. But, unfortunately, the date after which the name of Montenegro disappeared from the world map, the date which reminds us of the tragic injustice done to us by the Allied Powers of the Great War.

There is no similar example – there has never been a smaller country with so many casualties on the winning side of history, which has had to deal with such great injustice and cruel punishment for a country and a nation.

Historical facts indicate that Montenegro itself did not manage to act properly during those decisive years before and during the World War I. Its army was devastated in two Balkan wars, sacrificed at Mojkovac for the rescue of the Serbian army in retreat, and then handed over to the Serbian command.

All this facilitated the military implementation of the political idea of the Allies on the disappearance of the Montenegrin state and its dynasty. The way the Kingdom of Serbia at the time was rationalising such an idea was illegitimate, covered by the cloak of illegal "Podgorica Assembly," which had no jurisdiction to reach decisions on the state and legal status of Montenegro. However, it made decisions, and then came the terror which has maintained the forcible abolition of the Montenegrin state for years, making thousands of our families miserable.

For nearly nine decades, Montenegro has had to make efforts to repair the damage of state and national disaster it experienced at the end of the World War I. Today in Paris, a hundred years later, at the same place where in 1918 there was no place for the Montenegrin sovereign, nor for Montenegrin flag - both essentially and symbolically, Montenegro is back where it belongs.

Dear citizens of Montenegro,

When we are recalling today, with restored statehood and undisputed place in the society of the most developed countries of the modern world, of the difficult times of a century ago - our duty is to pay tribute to all the victims of the struggle for the Montenegrin freedom, its statehood and national dignity.

Their heroic sacrifice laid the foundations on which our State was restored.

Their sacrifice obliges us to firmly and decisively defend what they died for - the honour and dignity of our only homeland of Montenegro.

Let them have eternal glory and gratitude!