“The April Uprising had become the watershed which unleashed the national energy, stirred up the flame of the aspirations for freedom and transformed the love of the fatherland into a national cause.” These are words of the address of the Chairperson of the National Assembly, Tsetska Tsacheva, to the participants at the solemn celebration on occasion of the 140th anniversary of the April Uprising, held at the Military Academy “G. S. Rakovski”. The event was organized by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the All Bulgarian Committee “Vasil Levski”.
“Today we bow our heads and pay respect to all who sacrificed their life without expecting glory and medals, for the sake of us to be here today, for their descendants, for Bulgaria to exist today”, stressed the Speaker of the Parliament. “Let the generations after us know, cherish and hand down our deep feeling of recognition and respect towards those who paid the highest price for the present free, European Bulgaria”, added Tsetska Tsacheva.
“The dates inscribed with golden letters in the Pantheon of our national memory are not a small number. One is the April 20th, 1876, said the Chairperson of the National Assembly. History has no doubts – the April Uprising represents the peak in the movement for national liberation in the epoch of the National Revival, “Tsetska Tsacheva noted.
She continued by saying “the World was shocked after the crushing of the Uprising, Europe was awaken chilled by the repercussions of the bloody flames of the villages and towns set in fire, by the thousands of innocent victims, by the strength of one people, reaching its arm for freedom. Viktor Hugo, Garibaldi, Bismarck, William Gladstone and Charles Dickens, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Mendeleev are only a few of the names of the most renowned representatives of the progressive European and world thought at the time, who took the side of Bulgarians”, underscored Tsetska Tsacheva. She recalled the article of the American journalist McGahan in the English newspaper “Daily News”, in which he describes Bulgarians as hardworking, tenacious, honest, educated and peaceful people.
“Speaking about the April Uprising we can’t omit the first Bulgarian parliament convened in the locality of Oborishte, the Assembly named by historians and contemporary people the first Grand National Assembly of Bulgaria,” Tsetska Tsacheva noted. She pointed out that parliamentary life at present follows the same principles – election of representatives, democracy and decision making by majority vote. “The message of Oborishte is that the path of our national freedom and independence passes through the principles of democracy and equality, still valid today. The same principles made possible the association of the people of Bulgaria with the ideas of democratic Europe and helped it to become part of the big European family,” she concluded.
The Chief of the Military Academy “G. S. Rakovski”, Todor Dochev, noted that the April Uprising is one of the greatest events in the history of Bulgaria, which left an indelible trace in our national memory. “We have gathered to extend our deepest recognition and admiration towards the exploit of the thousands known and unknown heroes, who manifested unequivocal heroism, by waving the flag of faith and hope and by choosing their own fate with the words “Freedom or death”, he stressed.
The Chairperson of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Stefan Vodenicharov, pointed out that the April Uprising makes the heart of every Bulgarian quiver because everyone of us is brought up with its memories and knows its significance for Bulgaria. He wished that we convey to the young generation all our feelings and appreciation in respect to this anniversary. Vodenicharov added that if Bulgarians do not safeguard their sense of national belonging and do not pass on the legacy they will not be able to inherit the glorious past.
Before the start of the solemn celebration in the Military Academy “G.S. Rakovski”, in the Lane of Glory (Victories) of the latter, were buried shells full with soil from the combat sites in Koprivshtitsa, Panagurishte, Perushtitsa, Batak and peak Okoltchitsa. The solemn commemoration of the April Uprising was attended by the Chairperson of the National Assembly, the Vice President of Bulgaria, Margarita Popova, by Members of the National Assembly, by the Deputy Defense Minister Desislava Yosifova, Academician Stefan Vodenicharov, by Vasil Vasilev, President of the All Bulgarian Committee “Vasil Levski”, university heads, the mayors of the towns, which took part in the uprising, representatives of patriotic and public organizations.