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Prime Minister Janez Janša attends a memorial ceremony on Slovenian-American Friendship and Alliance Day

Today Prime Minister Janez Janša attended the ceremony traditionally held for the Slovenian-American Friendship and Alliance Day.

On the 77th anniversary of the crash of an American B-17 bomber, the Slovenian Prime Minister laid a wreath on the memorial plaque commemorating the eight crew members who lost their lives in the crash.  Prime Minister Janša also signed the official visitors' book of the Polzela municipality.

The Slovenian-American Friendship Day has been celebrated since 2014, when in Andraž nad Polzelo a memorial plaque was unveiled in remembrance of the crew of ten pilots of the B-17 bomber that crashed at the foot of the Oljka mountain on 19 March 1944. Eight pilots died and were buried in the cemetery in Andraž nad Polzelo, while two of them survived the crash with the help of Andraž residents.

The opening address at the traditional ceremony commemorating Slovenian-American friendship was delivered by the President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor, while the guests were also addressed by US Airforce General E. Bailey, Commander of the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base in Italy.

In their address, both speakers stressed the firm and lasting friendship between Slovenia and the United States of America, which has strengthened after Slovenia joined NATO and the European Union. As pointed out by General Bailey, Slovenia and the USA maintain their ties with joint missions and exercises, with Slovenian and American officers and NCOs attending training courses in Slovenia and in the USA. "Our partnership is strong and it grows stronger each day. If we keep our faith and preserve our shared values, we can overcome any challenge," said General Bailey and expressed his gratitude that we can remember the people who gave their lives during the war.