Dmitry Medvedev: Your Eminence, dear friends, people of Russia,
Today we are celebrating our national holiday, the Day of National Unity, and the spirit of this holiday is particularly strong here in Suzdal, here in the Vladimir Region’s lands. It was here, after all, that the liberation of Moscow began, here that Prince Dmitry Pozharsky served his fatherland, and here that his body was laid to rest.
Today, we witnessed a special event in our history with the consecration of the chapel dedicated to Prince Dmitry Pozharsky, this chapel that was first built more than 100 years ago and then destroyed in the 1930s.
The feat of Prince Pozharsky and Citizen Minin will forever remain in the hearts of all our country’s people, all who live on Russian soil. Many times Russia has faced the great challenges of reuniting the country and overcoming chaos. The start of the seventeenth century was one such time.
Dmitry Pozharsky’s resolution, will, determination and belief made it not only possible to organise a second people’s force ready to fight for freedom, but made it a success. Speaking of these events, it is indeed the case that the people liberated themselves.
This is a very special date in our history, and a very special holiday — the Day of National Unity, and also the holiday of the Icon of the Holy Virgin of Kazan, which is particularly honoured by our country and our church. I am sure that this event can unite us today too, giving us reason to feel that we are a truly united people, a people that has overcome numerous great challenges, vanquished many enemies, withstood many hardships, but never lost its strength and courage. Prince Pozharsky is an example of this, serving our country and people during the liberation period and for long years afterwards.
It gives me particular pleasure to be here today, because it seems we were here not so long ago and there was not yet any chapel on this site. Its rebuilding is the fruit of our common effort and an example of how public donations and the cooperation of a huge number of people, who gave this project their labour and money, have served to restore a site of such importance for our country’s history. This is an excellent example and it also helps to unite us.
Dear friends, allow me to congratulate you most sincerely on this national holiday, the Day of National Unity, and wish you all good health, strength and happiness. Congratulations!