On May 6, 2017 for the 11th consecutive year the Bulgarian Memory Foundation organized a joint celebration of the Courage Day and the Bulgarian Army Day. Traditionally the place of celebration was the Bulgarian military memorial in Novo Selo, Strumitsa, and this year more than 350 people met there – young people from Bulgaria, Republic of Macedonia and the Western outskirts, representatives of the church, politicians, ambassadors, the military attachés of US, China, Italy, France, Serbia and Russia, many public figures and civil organizations representatives.
The pilgrimage began with a requiescat led by bishop Naum of Strumitsa, followed by greetings from the official guests of the event – Dr. Milen Vrabevski, Chairman of the Bulgarian Memory Foundation, Rossen Plevneliev – President of Republic of Bulgaria (2012-2017), Dr. Andrei Kovachev – Member of the European Parliament Presidency and Mr. Ivan Petkov – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Republic of Macedonia.
During the ceremony, students from “Nikola Vaptsarov” Primary School, Strumitsa, were awarded for their participation in the essay contest on the topic “The destiny of the heroes from 11th infantry Macedonian division – a call for peace and our obligation for future development”.
The ceremony ended with laying of wreaths and flowers by the National guardian division of the Republic of Bulgaria and by the participants in the pilgrimage.
“On this day we affirm the memory of our common historical past and build bridges for the future”
With these words, Dr. Milen Vrabevski, Chairman of the Bulgarian Memory Foundation, addressed the participants of the official ceremony held at the Bulgarian military memorial in Novo Selo, Republic of Macedonia.
Andrei Kovachev, deputy in EP and member of European Parliament Presidency, addressed the attendees with the words: “Bowing down before the feats of Bulgarian soldiers and officers during the wars in 20th century, we are sending a message – no more bloodshed, no more violence in our region and Europe, and let the wounds of the past be healed on the way to European integration.”
Restored from an abandoned military cemetery in 2006 with funds of the Bulgarian Memory Foundation, in the recent years this memorial is visited by thousands who want to pay tribute to the fallen Bulgarian soldiers.