President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s speech at the Day of Memory and Honors and the Great Victory ceremonial event

Dear compatriots!

Esteemed veterans of war and labor!

Let me cordially congratulate you, the true heroes of our people, and in your person the entire multiethnic nation of Uzbekistan, on the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory in World War II and the Day of Memory and Honors.

 

Dear friends!

As you know, precisely a year ago, we took a decision to build a vast memorial complex in our capital Tashkent – the Victory Park – with the goal of comprehensively and more fully reflecting the immortal feat and the greatest stamina of the people of Uzbekistan on the fields of fierce battles and in the rear, on the labor front, and bring up the coming generations in the spirit of love and devotion to the Motherland on these praiseworthy examples.

With great satisfaction I would like to state that today this noble intention of our people has come true, and we celebrate a sacred date for all of us with war and labor veterans, both in person in the Victory Park and through television with festivities here broadcast.

Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus pandemic, we have not been able to invite all our valiant veterans today to this beautiful park. Many of them are receiving congratulations in regions, military districts or at home, with their families. Despite the distance dividing us, on this holiday, we are with you with heart and soul.

The grand memorial complex, built in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory, is truly unique in its architectural concept, ethical content and historical significance. Its creation is another striking confirmation of the deep respect and admiration of all compatriots for the courage and heroism of our people.

Over a short period of time, a great deal of construction and improvement works have been undertaken in this vast area. Victory Park, the Museum of Glory, the monuments “Eternal Feat” and “Elegy to Fortitude” emerged on the basis of carefully designed projects. The formed large-scale historical and art expositions narrated the heroism of our people, shown in bloody battles, and selfless, hard work in the rear.

Surely, much can be said about every one of objects in the park.

A hill symbolizing the conquered height on the battlefield boasts a majestic new monument “Eternal Feat” dedicated to such legendary commanders as General Sabir Rahimov and the unfading memory of all the brave warriors from Uzbekistan.

We have created the Museum of Glory on the basis of the most advanced museum and information technologies. It is home to thousands of historical exhibits that testify to the courage of our people who made a tremendous contribution to the Great Victory. Undoubtedly, they will serve the cause of patriotic education of the generations to come.

Today, we have laid flowers at the foot of the Monument “Elegy to Fortitude”, which personifies our Motherland, and paid tribute to the dedicated compatriots. I should note that when deliberating on the draft monument, real historical events and not abstract artistic images were taken as a basis.

Last year, on May 9, I talked about Zulfiya Zakirova from the village of Khanabad, Zangiata district of Tashkent region, and the enormous deed of this woman and her family, which delights any person.

After the death of her husband Holmata-aka, Zulfiya raised five sons and a daughter all by her own. During the Second World War, all her courageous sons – Isokjon, Ahmadjon, Mahamadjon, Vahobjon, Yusufjon – heroically died.

To be sure, not everyone is able to endure such cruel blows of fate. But a simple Uzbek woman, with an unbending will and fortitude, was able to withstand the inconceivable tragedy.

Because of the war, Zulfiya Zakirova’s four daughters-in-law ended up widowed and her five grandchildren orphaned. Until her last breath, she patiently bore all the trials that fell to her, living only with the memory of her heroic sons, with concerns and joys of her daughters-in-law and grandchildren, as well as her native land. And the good and loving daughters-in-law of Zulfiya, following her example and supporting her in everything, remained faithful to their spouses and family.

Zulfiya Zakirova’s close relatives – Rahimdjon Ahmadjonov, Farhod Mahamadjonov, Marifat Ahmadjonova, Sanoat Mahmudova, Mavluda Holmatova – are attending today’s celebration. Let me express my deep gratitude to these wonderful people who endured all hardships with dignity, carefully preserved the memory of Zulfiya Zakirova and her sons, and conscientiously work for the good of the country.

Last year, during the festivities, I proposed to erect a monument called “Elegy to Fortitude” in honor of this courage. The general public, our people warmly supported this initiative.

Our creative intelligentsia have been devoting their poems, journalistic articles, and other works to this topic.

 

Speaking about this, I would like to dwell on the motion picture Ilhak (Unquenchable Hope) created by the young, talented director Jahongir Ahmedov at the studio of the Uzbekkino National Agency. Yesterday, with great interest and excitement I watched this film dedicated to one of the most difficult and tragic periods in the history of our nation. An ode to genuine heroism, it evokes a response in the soul of every person.

The image of Zulfiya Zakirova, waiting until the end of her life with pain and longing for the return of her five dead hero sons from the war, reflected the best human qualities inherent in Uzbek mothers and all Uzbek women. We decided to air this spectacular movie on our TV channels today, on this special holiday. I advise everyone, especially young people, to watch it in the family circle and take the example of dedication, audacity and high human dignity from its heroes.

Let me emphasize with pride: in the very heart of the Victory Park today stands out the splendid monument “Elegy to Fortitude”, dedicated to the Motherland and all the mothers of Uzbekistan. For everyone, especially the young people, this memorial will prove a symbol of such eternal values ​​as family, love and loyalty.

I feel convinced that the entire memorial complex of the Victory Park, glorifying elevated human qualities, will become a sacred place of attraction and spiritual and moral edification for our compatriots.

It should be said that it was not easy to build this huge complex within such a short span of time, especially in lockdown conditions. But all the difficulties notwithstanding, our architects and construction specialists, engineers and experts in various fields, artists and sculptors, our energetic youth, realizing that they are part of an immensely noble deed, worked selflessly round the clock. As a result, its construction was completed by the 9th of May.

On this occasion, on my own behalf and on behalf of our people, I express enormous gratitude to everyone who has made a great input into this great endeavor.

I congratulate you, dear veterans, and all our people on the opening of the Victory Park, the Park of Memory and Honors.

 

Distinguished veterans!

For all of us, this holiday is really a joy with tears in our eyes. On this festive day, we bow our heads first of all to our blessed compatriots who gave their lives for the homeland.

With a sense of boundless gratefulness and sorrow, we recall the names of thousands of participants in the war and the labor front, our fearless and valiant fathers and grandfathers, steadfast and patient mothers and grandmothers – all residents of Uzbekistan of different ethnic background who contributed to the Great Victory.

Friendship, brotherhood of the multiethnic people of Uzbekistan, hardened in the harsh years of the war, are a solid foundation for all our achievements. This harmony and cohesion is our major wealth, and we must safeguard and preserve it as the greatest value.

We are all members of a large friendly family, united by common hopes and concerns, a common gracious goal of creating a new, prosperous Uzbekistan.

Mentally embracing all of you, dear veterans, I express my deep gratitude for the courage and devotion to the Motherland, for your feat in the name of today’s peaceful, free and prosperous life.

We see in you wise mentors who are highly cherished and respected in society, we value your advice, your rich life experience. We are proud of every one of you. For us, you are a model of selfless service to the native land, and it will always be so. Your inherent bravery, valor, selflessness is an inexhaustible source of strength and energy, an example in overcoming many of the problems that we face today in life.

Addressing you, beloved veterans, I would like to stress that honoring you and caring for you, doing our best to ensure your health and dignified life is our sacred duty, the priority of our policy, and we will certainly continue with this righteous work.

 

Dear compatriots!

Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory today, we again and again recall the heroism of our nation, think about the lessons of that terrible war.

I have repeatedly said that the contribution of the people of Uzbekistan to the Great Victory has not yet been fully studied, drawing the attention of our public to this. Today I want to say with satisfaction that in recent years, a great deal of efforts has been undertaken on this front.

First of all, we have opened previously classified and inaccessible archival documents and materials for researchers. Along with this, cooperation has intensified with archival institutions, museums and foundations, historians, specialists, and the general public of the former republics of the former Union and other foreign countries.

Thanks to scientific research, important new information has been recovered about the participation of our people in the Second World War, and the exploits of heroes, our fathers and grandfathers. The results of this work are now widely reported in the media, new books and albums.

We have every reason to talk about the beginning of a new era in the study of our history during the Second World War. Thus, hitherto it was believed that of the 6 million 551 thousand people living at that time in the republic, about 1 million 500 thousand took to the war.

And according to recent data, about 1 million 951 thousand people were mobilized from Uzbekistan to the battlefields. This means that every third resident of our land entered combat with fascism with arms in their hands.

The fact that for so many years the names and fates of about 451 thousand of our compatriots who took part in fierce battles have stayed out of our attention cannot be considered fair, to be sure.

It was also established that more than 59 thousand Uzbeks expelled from the republic during the dispossession period (raskulachivanie) were called up for military service.

Let me present some more figures: it was previously believed that 396 thousand of our citizens who went to war were killed in battles. Yet in fact it turns out more than 538 thousand.

In addition, we did not have reliable data on the number of missing persons. Today it is precisely established that during the war years more than 158 thousand of our compatriots went missing.

Indeed, it is not hard to see how great were the losses, how much grief and suffering fell upon our people during the war years!

In the course of scientific research, much has been clarified with regard to representatives of Uzbekistan awarded with military orders and medals. Until now, the figure used to be at 120 thousand people. Today it is established that it was over 200 thousand of our soldiers and officers. It has been documented that the title of Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded not to 280 persons, as formerly had been thought, but to 301 residents of Uzbekistan, and 70 were awarded the Order of Glory of all three degrees.

I would like to thank our historians, all representatives of the scientific and creative intelligentsia, who have made a great contribution to the establishment of invaluable historical truth and justice. I urge them to continue with the research in this direction, to constantly enrich the exposition of the Museum of Glory with new materials.

In order to thoroughly study and bring reliable data on the deeds of our fathers and grandfathers in full onto next generations, it would be advisable to publish a separate book with new historical facts every May on the eve of May 9.

In the harsh years of the war, the entire people of Uzbekistan worked tirelessly towards a common goal “Everything is for the battlefield, everything is for victory!” Our land turned into a reliable rear support front. Uzbekistan produced and supplied a large number of military equipment and ammunition, food, clothing, medicines and other vital goods. Thanks to the committed effort of our multiethnic nation, about 300 enterprises of the republic began to manufacture military products. In addition, 151 plants were relocated to Uzbekistan from the frontline territories and commissioned within a short time. Thousands of wounded soldiers were treated in hospitals organized here.

According to the latest data, 1.5 million people were evacuated to Uzbekistan from the republics where the war was raging, including over 250 thousand children. Our people gave them shelter, love and care, sometimes sharing the last piece of bread, showing their inherent high humanism.

 

Dear friends!

75 years have passed since the deadliest war in human history ended. However, unfortunately, armed conflicts and bloody clashes reappear in different parts of the world, including those close to our region. Therefore, we must always be vigilant, further strengthen our independence, the power of our country and the potential of the Armed Forces.

Today we are building a new Uzbekistan. A new life, the cardinal transformations that are being carried out, require all of us to be selfless citizens, with active civic stance and aspiration to create good. Our most important task remains the preservation of peace, the development of cooperation with the international community, especially with neighboring countries.

Taking this opportunity, today we sincerely congratulate on the great Victory Day the fraternal peoples who have made a remarkable contribution to the fight against fascism, all people of goodwill, and wish them peace and prosperity.

I am confident that our noble people, whose hearts will forever be home to the memory of the great military and labor feats of fathers and grandfathers, will mobilize all our strengths and capabilities in the name of preserving the greatest value – a peaceful and prosperous life.

 

Dear compatriots!

Once again, from the bottom of my heart I congratulate every one of you on the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory!

Glory to our victorious veterans who defended the clear sky over our Motherland, peace and freedom!

May the life of our courageous and persistent people be happy and affluent!

Happy Victory Day!