Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the ceremony held at the Baku Army Commanders School named after Hazi Aslanov, twice Hero of the Soviet Union - May 9, 1994

Dear soldiers and officers of the Azerbaijani army, veterans of the war, compatriots!

Today is a significant day. May 9 is the Day of Victory of the progressive forces of the world in the 1941-1945 war. The peoples of the world were saved from big disasters then. The world has been in peace and security for 49 years. All the European countries, the USA and the Soviet Union took part in that war. The Azerbaijani people also contributed to the victory of that war. The Second World War caused horrible destructions, big human losses, and significant changes in the world. Many nations were involved in that war. The Azerbaijani people took part in the war in order to defend the Soviet Union.

The victory in the Second World War was achieved thanks to the solidarity and struggle of the progressive forces led by the Soviet Union, the USA, the UK, and France.

We can`t forget the victory. We still have people, wounded or suffering from the war. 600,000 people from Azerbaijan were mobilized to that war. 300,000 of them did not return. The Azerbaijani people, together with other Soviet nations, contributed to the victory.

The ambassadors of the USA, France, and the UK in Azerbaijan are taking part in our ceremony today. So is the ambassador of Russia. The USA, France, the UK and Russia, the successor of the Soviet Union, saved the mankind from that big disaster. We remember all the people who perished in that war. May they rest in peace.

I wish the veterans of the World War II health, happiness and successes.

Today we are at school named after Hazi Aslanov. A few minutes ago we opened the monument to General Hazi Aslanov, a brave son of our people, twice Hero of the Soviet Union. He won fame for Azerbaijan with his heroism. Hazi Aslanov was a good soldier, commander and general, a patriot. He fought with loyalty for his homeland, he will always be dear for us and for the next generations. A lot of places in Azerbaijan are named after him. So is this school.

Our sculptors were working on the monument to Hazi Aslanov even in the 70s. The monument was ready. Unfortunately, it was not opened then. Now I am happy that I am participating in its opening. It is an honor to me.

Hazi Aslanov`s life, heroism and service in the World War II is an example for the Azerbaijani youth, especially in such a hard period, when Azerbaijan has been subjected to the aggression of the Armenian armed forces. I wish you, students of the school after Hazi Aslanov to be like him. You all must love our homeland and be military professionals like Hazi Aslanov.

The number of the Azerbaijani officers in the Soviet army was very few then. Hazi Aslanov chose a military profession, became an officer, fought in the World War II, making a long way from the Caucasus till the Baltic Sea, and perished.

When I attended the monument in Stalingrad dedicated to the war, I read the name of Hazi Aslanov among the names of the heroes of the Soviet Union. Then I felt very proud. I told the people with me about it. All these are the bright page of the history of Azerbaijan...

I recommend you to follow this way. Military profession, protection of homeland are sacred. People can do a lot of jobs. But not everyone can dedicate his life to military profession and protection of homeland. Only people who love their country can do it. A long way awaits you. You are taking the first steps. I want you to be well educated and trained and to serve the strengthening and developing the Azerbaijani army. The territories of Azerbaijan have been occupied by the Armenian armed forces. We have to protect our lands, restore the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. It is your duty. As an independent country, we need a strong army. I hope that you will serve Azerbaijan honestly.

We have implemented important measures into life in order to end the war which we wage with Armenia. I declare once more that we don’t want war.

I bow to our martyrs who perished for Azerbaijan. They will always live in our hearts. May they rest in peace. May their heroism be an example for you. I am sure that you will protect our lands honestly and restore the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.