BELGRADE - Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic met on April 23, Serbian Armed Forces Day, with members of the Defence Ministry and the Armed Forces and said that honesty, conscientiousness and ethics characterized the Serbian troops, and that he was proud of them.
"I belong to the Serbian Armed Forces today, while I used to belong to the Yugoslav Armed Forces and the Yugoslav People's Army, and I have always been proud to be included among those who wear the uniform of the country I was born in, I live in," Nikolic stated.
"I know that you put on the uniform because of your ancestors and that you wear it for your descendants - your ancestors gave you someone to look up to, while you want your descendants to remember you as honest, moral and conscientious people, which are characteristics of the Serbian soldiers, non-commissioned officers, officers and all the way up to generals," Nikolic said.
He told the troops they should be worthy of their ancestors who had worn the uniform with honour when deciding the fate of Serbia, Yugoslavia or whatever the name of the country the Serbian people had been creating at the time.
He finished his address with "long live Serbia," adding that it was the same thing those who had created the Serbian army said 199 years ago.
Chief of the General Staff Ljubisa Dikovic presented Nikolic with a gold plaque of the Serbian Armed Forces on behalf of all the members of the country's defence system.
"This is a new plaque the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces have started to award and I am honoured to have you as the first recipient," Dikovic noted.
President of the International Consulting Committee - Organization of Reserve and Retired Offciers Aleksandar Kansin presented Nikolic with their highest medal.
Nikolic also received an award from the Club of Admirals and Generals of Serbia.
The Serbian Armed Forces celebrate their day on April 23 in memory of the start of the Second Serbian Uprising in 1815, which was a turning point in the creation of the modern Serbian state and military.
The Defence Ministry and the Armed Forces marked the date with a series of activities, with the central event being attended by top officials of the government and military and a large number of citizens in Uzice on April 16.
Photo Tanjug, S. Radovanovic