Defence Ministry and Army delegations, led by State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, Dragan Nikolikj, and Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Vasko Gjurchinovski, lay wreaths Saturday on the Tetovo-Skopje highway, at a site dedicated to the ten Army members killed in the 2001 Karpalak ambush.
Representatives of the government, the President’s office, Parliament, the municipality of Prilep, members of victims’ families, VMRO-DPMNE and several soldiers and civic associations also attended the event.
Today we mark the 19th anniversary of the Karpalak ambush. For 19 years we’ve been asking for a proper memorial to honor victims. We laid wreaths once again today on the side of the road. Soldiers died here fighting for this country and deserve more. Those of us who survived honour and respect their legacy. But, what happened on 8 August 2001 wasn’t the last of tragic incidents, said Aco Jovanovski, one of the survivors of the ambush.
Representatives of the Committee of Soldiers stress the need for a more dignified memorial for Karpalak ambush victims.
The number of people attending this event diminishes with each passing year. The reasons are not known to us, but someone is obviously working to make the incident slowly fading from people’s memory. For the past two years none of the officials in attendance have noted why we all gather here. I think the Defence Ministry will make and effort to organize a more dignified ceremony and give soldiers the credit they deserve. I call on soldiers to unite and preserve their legacy, said Marin Najdov, representative of the Committee of Soldiers.
On August 8, 2001, an Army convoy was ambushed near the village of Karpalak. Ten soldiers, all army reservists, were killed in the incident.