Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the ceremony of the 52nd anniversary of the victory over the fascism in the World War II held in front of the grave of Hazi Aslanov, Major-General of the Soviet armoured troops, Hero of the Soviet Union - May 9, 1997

Dear veterans!

Dear compatriots! Sisters and brothers!

I congratulate you, the Azerbaijani people on the anniversary of the victory over the fascism in the World War II and Great Patriotic War. I wish you the best!

Many nations of the world played a big role in the victory in the World War II52 years ago. The brave Azerbaijani people became mobilized and contributed to the victory over fascism fighting in the fronts for over four years.

The Azerbaijani people demonstrated heroism during the World War II and Great Patriotic War and contributed to the victory fighting in front and working in the rear. It was the victory of the progressive forces over the fascism. It was the victory of the peoples of the former Soviet Union. It was the victory of the antifascist coalition of the superpowers. It is a great victory. Therefore, this victory is being celebrated by the world nations for 52 years.

We are proud of celebrating this victory in Azerbaijan. Because, the Azerbaijani people has a lot of losses for this victory, 600,000 people from Azerbaijan went to the front and fought there. Half of them didn’t return from the front. Children, relatives of the people who perished for the victory live in all the places of Azerbaijan.

Heroism of our compatriots in the Great Patriotic War is dear to us. Their memory will live in our hearts forever.

Today we are celebrating the Day of Victory in front of the grave of Hazi Aslanov, a brave son of the Azerbaijani people, who perished during the war. I express my respect to the Azerbaijani people who participated in the Great Patriotic War and bow to the spirits of all our martyrs. Their heroism will always live in our hearts. Our people, the future generations will never forget them.

Heroism of our martyrs is an example for the next generations. Now we are struggling in order to protect our lands from the Armenian aggression. As a result of the Armenian aggression in 1988, the war broke out, blood was shed, sons of Azerbaijan sacrificed their lives for the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Azerbaijan.

Next to Hazi Aslanov`s grave, there are the graves of our martyrs, who perished in the tragedy of January 20. There are the graves of our martyrs, who perished in the war, struggling against the Armenian aggressors. The Martyrs` Avenue has become a sacred place. The graves here demonstrate the tragedies of the Azerbaijani people, as well as its heroism, loyalty to the motherland.

On May 9, we remember all our martyrs. May they rest in peace. Their memory will live in our hearts forever.

Today in this sacred place I declare that the independence of Azerbaijan is eternal. We shall safeguard our independence, liberate our occupied territories, ensure the inviolability of our borders. Azerbaijan will exist as a sovereign, independent state for centuries.

The guarantee of our present and future is the examples of heroism of our martyrs. Their bravery must be an example for every Azerbaijani. Our youth must take lessons from history, look like those heroes, be ready to self-sacrifice for Azerbaijan.

In order to liberate our occupied territories, protect our country, we have to gather all our heroism. Our people`s heroism, martyrs and loyalty to motherland demonstrate that our people are always ready to protect our country. I recommend our youth, the Azerbaijani people to learn from our heroes.

I am sure that our present and future generations will be more courageous and more loyal than their predecessors and serve Azerbaijan. Now Azerbaijan is an independent country. As citizens of Azerbaijan, we have to maintain our independence and pass it to next generations. Now we have to protect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. I am sure we can. Our historical achievements and heroism of our people let me be confident in it. I congratulate you on this holiday, wish you the best.

The veterans of the Great Patriotic War have assembled here. They contributed to achieving the victory both in battles and in the rear. Then Azerbaijan was very important for the front. The people working in the rear also contributed very much. The Azerbaijani people has a big share in achieving the victory. During the World War II 70 per cent of oil and oil products used in the war were produced in Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani people were producing and transporting oil day and night, contributing to protection of motherland.

History will never forget it. We shall always be proud of it. Everyone must learn that Azerbaijan had a very big role in the Great Patriotic War and the World War II. The Azerbaijanis demonstrated heroism in the front and in production of oil and other necessary goods. Therefore, I congratulate the veterans of war and labor, especially the veterans of the oil industry. We all thank and respect them. I wish them long life and health.

The veterans of the Great Patriotic War and the World War II are very dear for us. It is the duty of our state and each citizen to respect them, take care of them, solve all their problems. Thus, I congratulate especially the veterans. I wish you, your family the best.

I congratulate you on the Day of Victory. Thank you.