The ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlović, Serbian member of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina Milorad Dodik, US Ambassador to Serbia Anthony Godfrey, Halyard Foundation founder John Cappello and local officials.
At the beginning, the anthem "God of Justice" and the anthem of the USA were played, after which the officials laid wreaths in the newly-built memorial complex in the honour of one the largest rescue operations of allied pilots in the Second World War.
On that occasion, Vučić said that the citizens of Šumadija brought pride upon Serbia in 1944, and that even today our future is to build friendly relations with the Western allies.
He highlighted the importance of Operation Halyard because the Germans, especially in Romania, inflicted huge losses on the Allied aviation, so for the Allies, Šumadija was one of the places where those affected had to be saved and it became a refuge for more than 500 American, British and Canadian aviators.
At that time, our people showed all their courage, the President of the Republic said and pointed out that the Serbs at that time became brothers in arms with the Americans, the English and the Canadians.
Everyone will find their reasons why those things changed during the 1990s, especially in 1999, but now we need to build friendly relations with the Western allies,Vučić stated.
He assessed that the relations between Serbia and the United States are on the rise, but that a lot of time will pass until they are the way we want them to be and added that it is important to show a lot of respect for each other and invest a lot of effort and energy in developing relations.
Mihajlović pointed out that thanks to the initiative of President Vučić and with a huge commitment of the Ministry of Construction, a memorial complex was built in just one month, as the Serbian and American people deserve.
She specified that the value of the entire complex, which includes a memorial centre in the shape of a C-47 plane, which evacuated American soldiers, and a runway, amounts to RSD 70 million.
According to Mihajlović, the Serbian people deserve to have a memorial centre as a reminder of the courage they showed in 1944 by rescuing Allied soldiers.
Serbia and the United States have never forgotten this sacrifice and friendship. I am convinced that our relations will be even better in the future, which is encouraged by a responsible policy of the Serbian government and the President of Serbia, Mihajlović underlined.