site.btaUPDATED Independence Day Marked Countrywide
Addressing a ceremony here on Friday on the occasion of the 115th anniversary of the proclamation of Bulgaria's independence from the Ottoman Empire, Bulgarian Vice President Iliana Iotova acknowledged the founding fathers of contemporary Bulgaria "who bequeathed to us a role model of unity, an example of achieving a national cause at times of greatest hardship that could make or break Bulgaria's destinies".
“September 22, 1908 turned into a memorable triumph in Bulgarian history, when citizens and powerholders advanced in the same direction. That is why the lessons of independence are especially valuable today,” said National Assembly Deputy Chair Rositsa Kirova in her statement at the ceremony. “Let us remember and be aware that Bulgaria cannot possibly be independent if it is disunite, and unity and joint efforts give rise to strength,” she added.
The anniversary is marked countrywide, but the most important observances are taking place in Veliko Tarnovo.
Bulgaria's independence is not just an act of recognition. Independence is that moment when the thoughts and desires of the Bulgarian State and people match, National Assembly Chair Rosen Zhelyazkov said in his speech during the fireworks ceremony and military tattoo in front of the Tsarevets fortress here on the occasion of the Bulgaria's Independence Day Friday.
"Today we mark 115 years since that memorable September 22, when the ruler and the government declared Bulgaria's independence," Zhelyazkov said. In his words, the proclamation of independence was a victory that would not have been possible had it not been for the self-confidence of the Bulgarian army built up to defend this achievement.
The observances began in the morning with raising the national flag above the fortified Tsarevets Hill that was the centre of Bulgaria’s medieval capital. A solemn liturgy was celebrated at the Forty Holy Martyrs Church. Metropolitan Grigorii of Veliko Tarnovo blessed the colours of the military units participating in the ceremony. The Superintendent of the Vasil Levski National Military University, Brigadier General Ivan Malamov, reviewed the guard of honour. Next, a procession was held in Veliko Tarnovo’s main street.
"Independence Day is a remarkable lesson that national ideals can be attained and the Bulgarian interest can be defended through unity and will," President Rumen Radev wrote in a Facebook post marking September 22. "This lesson is all the more important now when we are tackling a number of crises, the problems of society are stifled, attempts are being made to supplant our history, and statehood is giving way to foreign interests and dependencies," the head of State argued.
He sees the proclamation of independence in Veliko Tarnovo 115 years ago as "categorical political consensus for the sake of a single goal: Bulgaria's advancement and development as a sovereign State on an equal footing in the international community."
"It is up to us not just to be equal with the rest but also to be self-confident as a free and honourable people. A people which regards independence, prosperity and development as a paramount value," Radev pointed out.
"The most sublime dream and goal of the Bulgarian National Revival was achieved 115 years ago," Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said, addressing a ceremony at the Independence Monument in Sofia on Friday.