11th of November 1918, the day when the war stopped!
In the twilight of 7th of November 1918, five cars from the German side crossed the front line and were escorted for nearly ten long and dangerous hours across the devastated war zone in Nothern France to reach the French side in the morning of 8th of November. Then they were guided to reach the secret destination in the forest of Compiegne that was siding the railway where the private train of Count Marchal Ferdinand Foch was parked.
German Delegation consisted of Secretary of State ERZBERGER, Gal VON WINTERFELD, Count Von OBENDORFF, Navy Captain WANSELOW, Captain GEYSER, and Captain VON HELLDORFF.
They met Marchal Foch and the following men of the French delegation:
Admiral WEMYSS, General WEYGAN, Admiral HOPE, Navy Captain MARRIOT, Commander RIEDINGER, Captain DE MIERY, Commander BIGOT, and Lieutenant LAPERCHE.
The negotiation lasted for 3 days to be concluded on the 11th of November 1918 with the signing of the Armistice. It was the beginning of end of the WWI or Great War as it ended fighting on land, sea, and air. The day when the politics replaced the war. The day when the hope for the better world was awakenened.
The Republic of Serbia, as one of the WWI victorious powers, has chosen this date as one of its holidays. It is set, along with the holiday for the specific emblem to be worn on the lapel in the week before armistice day. The emblem consists of two green ribbons that resemble the sash of the famous Commemorative Medal of the Great Serbian Retreat or Commemorative Medal for Loyalty to the Fatherland 1915, better known as the Albanian Commemorative Medal, and one purple flower with five petals of Ramonda Nathalie flowering plant.
The connection to the World War I medal is quite clear, given the immeasurable national suffering during the 1915 retreat through Albania, and the numerous military victories that marked WWI history.
Hundred and forty-two thousand hundred and forty-eight(142.148) Privates, Officers, non-commissioned officers, Corporals, Civil servants, and Priests were honored with a memorial better known as “Albanska Spomenica.” Between them it was the King Peter I of Serbia who, along with his army and the people, passed Albania to reach the Greek island of Corfou in 1915. Very rare act for the todays leaders who, instead to rule by example and self sacrifice, sacrifice other people and nations.
So, what is Nathalie Ramonda, where it grows, and why it is chosen to commemorate the armistice of 11th of November 1918?
Nathalie Ramonda is a small perennial, evergreen, herbaceous plant with a very strong rhizome! The strong rhizome serves as a food reservoir for the above-ground outgrowth for the next vegetation period or for vegetative reproduction. It grows in Serbia, North Macedonia, and the Kilkis part of Greece. In 1884 the plant was scientifically introduced and described by two Serbian botanists Josif Pancic and Sava Petrovic and given the name Nathalie after Queen Natalija Obrenovic, the wife of King Milan Obrenovic of Serbia!
The specific, unique, and absolutely amazingly beautiful plant Nathalie Ramonda has been chosen by Serbia to commemorate Armistice Day as a symbol of sacrifice, renewal, rejuvenation, strong roots, patriotism, and freedom which deeply reflects the Serbians.
This symbolism reflect to the core todays stance of the Republic of Serbia, that small country in the centre of Balkans, towards the current urgent world issues that could set the whole world ablaze!
Maybe today is the day to be kindly reminded of the Conclusions of the Republic of Serbia National Security Council of 25th of February 2022, a day after the war in Ukraina started. Below is the link and the copy of the conclusion.
“Pursuant to Article 5, Paragraph 2 of the Law on Security Services of the Republic of Serbia, the National Security Council, starting from its role in protection of national security, at the session of 25 February 2022, passed the following
1. The Republic of Serbia most sincerely regrets everything that takes place in the east of Europe. Russia and Ukraine have always been friendly countries to the Republic of Serbia, and Serbian people think of Russians and Ukrainians as of fraternal nations. We see loss of life of each man in Ukraine as a true tragedy.
2. The Republic of Serbia is committed to observing principles of territorial integrity and political independence of the states, as one of the basic principles of international law contained in the United Nations Charter and the Helsinki Final Act (1975), which guarantee the right of states to inviolability of borders.
3. Starting from Article 16 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, which envisages that the foreign policy of the Republic of Serbia shall be based on generally accepted principles and rules of international law, one of the basic principles of the foreign policy of the Republic of Serbia is also a consistent respect for inviolability of territorial integrity of sovereign countries. Just like it is committed to preservation of sovereignty and integrity of its own territory, the Republic of Serbia is likewise advocating respect for territorial integrity of other sovereign countries and the principle that borders can be changed only in accordance with the rules of international law.
4. The Republic of Serbia has always applied responsible and principled foreign policy and it paid dearly its commitment to principles and rules of international law, including also the principle of territorial integrity, because due to its strivings to preserve its territorial integrity, in the end of the 20th century, it was exposed not only to restrictive measures but also to aggression of 19 NATO member states. Despite all that, position of the Republic of Serbia in international relations has always been and it remained legally and politically impeccable, responsible and principled. There is nothing to reproach to the Republic of Serbia for its consistence in observing principles of international law.
5. In accordance with its so-far policy of striving for consistent and principled respect for principles of international law and inviolability of borders, the Republic of Serbia provides full and principled support to observation of principles of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
6. Fundamental principle of the contemporary international law is the principle of peaceful resolution of conflicts and refraining from threat and use of armed force against territorial integrity and political independence of any country whatsoever and in any way that is not in accordance with the United Nations Charter. Guided by fundamental principles of its foreign policy, the Republic of Serbia finds the violation of territorial integrity of any country, including Ukraine, very wrong.
7. Regardless of provocations coming often from countries and entities in the Western Balkans, the Republic of Serbia remains committed to observing principles from its Constitution to have its foreign policy based on generally accepted principles and rules of international law and it permanently advocates respect for precisely those principles and preservation of peace in the region, no matter the cost. The Republic of Serbia believes that preservation of peace and stability is of key importance for both progress of its economy and for biological survival of its citizens. Precisely because of that, the politics of the Republic of Serbia must be even more careful and more tolerant with irresponsible statements and actions coming from the region, because preservation of peace is a vital interest of Serbian people and the citizens of the Republic of Serbia.
8. Starting from a fact that its elementary duty is to invest all its efforts in preservation of peace and wellbeing of its citizens, while considering the need to possibly impose restrictive measures or sanctions against any country, including the Russian Federation, the Republic of Serbia will be guided exclusively by protection of its vital economic and political interests. As a country that experienced sanctions of the West in the recent past and whose compatriots in Republika Srpska are suffering from sanctions today, the Republic of Serbia believes that it is not its vital political and economic interest to impose sanctions against any country at this moment, nor to representatives or business entities of the respective.
9. Starting from the principle of military neutrality of the Republic of Serbia, and having in mind tremendous pressures the state of Serbia is put under, it is needed to terminate immediately all planning and exercise activities of the Armed Forces of Serbia and of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia with foreign partners, as well as not to carry out such activities until further notice.
10. In accordance with Article 13 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia that envisages the obligation of the Republic of Serbia to protect the rights and interests of its citizens in abroad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with other competent authorities, will take all measures envisaged by the law to safeguard the security of the citizens of the Republic of Serbia staying in Ukraine.
11. All state authorities and officials of the Republic of Serbia are warned of their legal obligation to refrain from inciting to and helping individuals to take part in conflicts in the east of Europe. Competent authorities will take all measures to prevent participation of the citizens of the Republic of Serbia, so-called, volunteers, in conflicts in the east of Europe, and they will sanction all the citizens not abiding legal bans from Article 386a and 386b of the Criminal Code.
12. The Republic of Serbia, will, of course provide any kind of humanitarian aid to the endangered Ukrainian people and citizens.
13. In accordance with their respective powers, the competent state authorities will take all measures to enable – in times ahead, that citizens and economy are supplied with enough energy, oil and oil derivatives, gas, but also food and other necessities required for decent and dignified life.
14. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will introduce this Conclusion to diplomatic and consular offices of the Republic of Serbia abroad, and instruct them to strictly observe this Conclusion in their respective activities.
15. For the purpose of implementation, this Conclusion is to be delivered to the General Secretariat of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, to the Serbian Armed Forces General Staff, the Security-Information Agency, the Military Security Agency and to the Military Intelligence Agency.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
Even that, as the Serbian song “Albanian memorial” starts to remind us of the catastrophe the war, every war, produces
“What time has come, how misery has come
To survive, you eat salt and bread for a whole month.
Some don’t even have that, so they starve to death
Well, at the counter, someone’s life is being sold….”
Peace will prevail! Humanity will prevail!
Darko Richard Lancelot
Connecft and Respect