Brezova pod Bradlom, May 3 (TASR) – Even the most tragic death can’t cover who Milan Rastislav Stefanik was and what he did so that Slovakia became a state-forming nation of an independent Czechoslovak state, President Zuzana Caputova stated on Monday on the occasion of 102nd anniversary of Stefanik’s death at the M.R. Stefanik Memorial in Brezova pod Bradlom (Trencin region).
The head of state pointed out that the formation of a new, free state was Stefanik’s great life task. He claimed that the policy of the new state could be European, human, world and “truly” Czech and Slovak. “After decades of historical turbulence, we have the opportunity to pursue this Stefanik-like policy. If we didn’t use this opportunity, we would betray the legacy that Milan Rastislav Stefanik left us,” stated Caputova.
Parliamentary Chair Boris Kollar (We Are Family) said that Stefanik became a legend after his death, to which almost all Slovak political currents subscribed after 1919. “For some he was a Slovak patriot who contributed to the setting up of Czechoslovakia. For others – a Slovak patriot who didn’t complete his work – the full liberation of the Slovak nation,” said Kollar.
Culture Minister Natalia Milanova read Prime Minister Eduard Heger’s (both OLaNO) speech in Breazova pod Bradlom. According to him, Stefanik was characterised by intellect and charisma, he didn’t know the word impossible. “He believed the truth, he lived the truth and defended the truth,” pointed out Heger, adding that Stefanik wasn’t afraid of obstacles and learnt how to overcome them.
The premier will mark the anniversary of Stefanik’s death on Tuesday (May 4) by laying a wreath at the monument to Milan Rastislav Stefanik in Ivanka pri Dunaji (Bratislava region).