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Prime Minister Janez Janša: "It is in the nature of man to dream, and in the nature of a free man to have the means to make those dreams come true."

Today, Prime Minister Janša attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition "The peculiar thing about dreams is they sometimes come true" in the Park of Military History in Pivka. On this occasion, the Prime Minister addressed the participants. The Prime Minister opened his address saying that that today we are celebrating a final act in the Slovene epic of independence, when Slovenes became masters on their own land.

Today, Prime Minister Janša attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition "The peculiar thing about dreams is they sometimes come true" in the Park of Military History in Pivka. On this occasion, the Prime Minister addressed the participants. The Prime Minister opened his address saying that that today we are celebrating a final act in the Slovene epic of independence, when Slovenes became masters on their own land.

"Perhaps over the past thirty years, the state’s attitude towards preserving the memory of our nation’s most critical time has been somewhat neglectful, but those of you who have been the driving force behind today’s and other similar projects have managed to prevent this memory being forgotten. In the first years after independence, this preservation of memory may not have seemed so very important, because this memory was still alive, but today, when voters already include the generations who were born after Slovenian independence and that day when the last foreign soldier left our territory; these generations are slowly taking the future in their hands, and the role that living memories played may no longer suffice, as it is slowly taken over by museums, books and culture," the Prime Minister said. "Thank you, to all of you who are aware of this and to all of you who have contributed to the fact that the Military History Park is something that attracts visitors, that attracts crowds and that has managed to survive difficult times, such as last year, when the number of visitors dropped so heavily due to the epidemic", the Prime Minister stressed.

"I was not in Pivka 30 years ago, but I flew over it by helicopter when we followed that last motorcade of the Yugoslav People’s Army. What you see on display at this museum here today makes the majority of the military materiel that we held onto in very interesting and innovative negotiations, although under the Brioni Agreement, the YPA had the possibility but not the technical means to take it away with them. If this succeeded, the Slovenian defence force would be even smaller today, as the T84 tanks are still in the arsenal of the Slovenian army and are the heaviest weapons we have, "said the Prime Minister. In his words, 30 years ago, the aerial view of the last YPA units - the retreating occupying army - was a particularly resonant image. "Today, when I read the memoirs I wrote then about this event, I realized that it was a beautiful, sunny, autumn day, Slovenia was dressed in beautiful, luxurious October colours and that for the first time in these colours, in the hills, in the forest, and especially across the hilltops and ridges after a year and a half  later, we could once more see what nature was: the beautiful autumn colours, the hills, people returning home from nature, with no more military sites or positions held by an enemy army that we had to avoid. In a certain way, we also physically felt this change, which was promised to Slovenia when the last enemy soldier left our territory and when we were able to breathe freely again. It is fitting that we celebrate this day as a national holiday, as a day of sovereignty representing something that is beautifully described in the title of this exhibition, "said the Prime Minister.

He went on to say that "it is in the nature of man to dream, and it is in the nature of a free man to have the means to make those dream come true." "When we gained our sovereignty, we obtained the right not only to dream, but we also obtained a country where we were the masters of our own land and where we must strive to ensure that every individual, regardless of where he or she is born, not only has the right to dream, but also the right to be able to make those dreams come true within the possibilities and within the effort he or she is willing to put in," Prime Minister Janša said.

The Prime Minister thanked all those who help preserve the memory of the time in which we gained our independence, so that the generations that are growing up today, that are being born and will be born, are able to understand this change and this difference between then and now, which they themselves did not and will not experience. "We hope and we wish that the sad events of history will not happen again, and to ensure they are not repeated, this memory must be preserved, because if it is not then the awareness of the events that can lead to good or bad is lost, and nations repeat, unfortunately, even the tragic periods of their history," the Prime Minister said. He continued saying that the mission of the museum's cultural work is to preserve the memory of the good and the bad, so that we all have at our disposal the knowledge and the feeling that helps people to judge between good and the bad, "so that we can see, on the basis of actual events from the history of our own nation, our own country, on the territory where we live today, what happened, what led to good or to bad, and that we are able to continue to work on that basis."

At the end of his address, Prime Minister Janša expressed his hope that the Pivka Park of Military History would have many visitors, "as many as possible every year", as well as the financial capacities needed for its collections to grow. "As far as the Government is concerned, we pledge all our help in this," said the Prime Minister, concluding his address by expressing his gratitude for the opportunity to be gathered together on such an important and solemn occasion. "I wish you a joyful celebration of Slovenia's sovereignty day, with the awareness that on that day we made a historic dream come true," Prime Minister Janez Janša concluded.

The ceremony also featured an address by the Director of the Pivka Park of Military History Park, Janko Boštjančič, the Mayor of Pivka, Robert Smrdelj, and the Assistant Director of the National and University Library, Ines Vodopivec. In his address, the museum’s director, Janko Boštjančič, pointed out that on that day 30 years ago, the dreams of many generations had come true, which is also illustrated by today's exhibition entitled "The peculiar thing about dreams is they sometimes come true", which presents an overview of Slovenian independence idea. Mr Boštjančič thanked the Government, which, in the face of the epidemic, "heard our cry for help and allocated funds to ensure the museum could develop and survive."

The exhibition entitled "The peculiar thing about dreams is they sometimes come true" was organised at the National and University Library to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the plebiscite for independent Slovenia. The title of the exhibition is something said by Professor Oton Muhr in the 1950s, who believed in his dreams unconditionally, and therefore also reflects views of many individuals and groups who were thinking about, and acted towards an independent Slovenia. They saved visions on paper, between book covers, and wrote them in newspapers and journals. The exhibition will be on display until spring 2022.

Prime Minister Janša took time to visit the photography exhibition "Proud of Slovenia – 30 Years" which was organised by the Park of Military History together with the Government Communication Office, and which captures some of the key moments, events and personalities of our country's 30-year history through a camera lens. Accompanied by the museum director and the Mayor of Pivka, the Prime Minister also toured the permanent exhibition, which is entitled: "The Road to Independence".