Sunday, September 20, 2009

Serbian Heroes remembered on Anniversary of the Salonika Front Breakthrough WWI

                                            Monument of the Unknown Hero / Photo: Wikimedia


Belgrade, 15 September 2009 – His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander II laid a wreath at the Monument of the Unknown Hero on Avala Mountain near Belgrade, for the September 15th anniversary of the breach of the Thessaloniki (Salonika) Front in 1918.

A traditional ceremony with military honours was organized by the Association of Descendants of Serbian Warriors 1912 – 1920, and besides HRH Crown Prince Alexander II, wreaths were also laid by: a delegation from the Serbian Ministry of Interior, Military delegations from the United States of America, France and Russia, a representative of the Tunisian Embassy, chargé d'affaires of the Embassy of India, a delegation of Kolo Srpski Sestara, as well as numerous organizations which preserve the traditions of Serbian liberation wars.

Addressing all present that included members of the diplomatic corps and journalists, HRH Crown Prince Alexander II emphasized: “I sincerely believe that our generation has the obligation to make a better and more prosperous country for our children, so that our children have the opportunity to be educated, to work and to live in peace with themselves and their neighbours in a united and prosperous Europe”.

The Monument of the Unknown Hero on Avala Mountain was built from 1934 to 1938, as homage to all unknown heroes that sacrificed their lives during World War I. The Monument was designed by the famous sculptor Ivan Mestrovic. Serbia is the only allied country that fought in World War I that has a Monument to the Unknown Hero, instead of the Unknown soldier.

Note from Aleksandra:
Although Avala is a small mountain near Belgrade (about 511 meters tall), its symbolic importance is huge.  From the top of Avala, you can see "forever" and surrounding the Monument of the Unknown Hero on Avala is a beautiful forested park that is "protected land". The natural area surrounding the grand Monument of the Unknown Hero on Mount Avala is well tended and taken care of.  There is an aura about this place that is intangible. You know you are in the presence of something magnificent even before you begin climbing up the stone steps to the top of the mountain.

World renowed, master sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, a Croat, designed the noble monument which was erected on Avala Mountain in 1938, and it was consecrated to the World War One Serbian heroes who were so instrumental in obtaining a final Allied victory in The Great War.

I had the opportunity to spend some time on Mount Avala in May of 2003 with my mother, and we marveled at the beauty and majesty of the Monument of the Unknown Hero. It is one of Serbia's highlights, and the impression it leaves you with will last a lifetime.

Aleksandra Rebic on Mount Avala, Serbia May 2003


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