Príhovor generálneho tajomníka NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, ktorý odznel počas smútočného rozlúčkového obradu s obeťami tragického leteckého nešťastia. Príhovor je v pôvodnom znení.
Mr. President, Prime-Minister, Ministers, families and friends,
Today is a very, very sad day for all of us. First and foremost for those among you, spouses, partners, children, parents, grandparents, brother, sisters, other relatives and friends who face the terrible and almost inhuman task of having to say farewell for good to their loved ones.
Loved ones you were longing to see back after their tour of duty in Kosovo, loved ones that had so many plans for the future.
Only a few weeks ago we were all celebrating Christmas and wishing each other a Happy New Year, and in doing so thinking especially of our loved ones and looking forward to seeing them again soon. How very different and cruel the new year has started.
The untimely death of so many young and promising people is also a great blow to us, to the Alliance. The Alliance is also a big family and we also grieve.
We all lost through this terrible accident men and women who did their duty in the name of peace and progress, who showed dedication and courage and who paid the ultimate price in doing so. They can no longer pursue their dreams and plans and those who they leave behind have to try to come to terms with this enormous and irreparable loss.
We have the solemn obligation to honour their memory and their commitment to the cause of peace by continuing and bringing to a succesful completion our important operations and missions, be it in Kosovo or elsewhere. Only by doing so we can pay our deepest respect and try to find renewed strength to overcome this tragedy.
On behalf of the entire Alliance, on behalf of every man and woman serving in NATO, wherever that may be, I convey my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the men and women that died and to the people of Slovakia, our staunch NATO ally. I wish you all the strength you can muster in dealing with this unspeakable loss. We are with you.