“Dear compatriots and guests of our country! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on Independence Day, the day when the capital of our Motherland was liberated from the Nazi invaders. This momentous date in the history of the Belarusian people has been inscribed in the calendar of the major national holidays forever,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president noted that on 3 July the country traditionally turns to the history of the Great Patriotic War: Belarusians remember the heroes who at the cost of their lives gave them freedom, tell their children and grandchildren about the deeds of their grandfathers and fathers, go with them to the places of military glory and sorrowful memory. “This annual custom is the least we can do in the name and glory of those thanks to whom we live, make families and raise children,” said the head of state.
“Today we have gathered at one of the most famous monuments erected in honor of Red Army soldiers, in honor of our heroes who liberated Belarus from fascism 78 years ago. This majestic mound, as a guardian of historical memory, shows us the legendary line where the Soviet offensive began and which finally destroyed the main forces of the German Army Group Centre and liberated our capital,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Here was the Minsk pocket, in which more than 100,000 Hitler soldiers got trapped. Most of them never left it.
“This is how the first stage of the famous Bagration operation victoriously ended, the operation which was brilliantly conducted by talented commanders Konstantin Rokossovsky, Ivan Bagramyan, Georgy Zakharov, and Ivan Chernyakhovsky. Belarusians should remember these names. Our grandfathers and fathers won but had to bear the pain of the losses of their comrades in arms, who fearlessly fought to the death for our freedom and for our victory. Honor and glory to all those who fell in the battles for the liberation of our homeland!” the president said.
The memory of the heroes was honored with a minute of silence.
On Independence Day the memorial grounds turned into a large venue of festivities, including a big exposition of weapons and equipment, refreshments, handicrafts, songs and dances, sports activities and many more.