Hundreds attended a memorial service held for fallen soldiers at the Gazimestan memorial on the religious festivity of Vidovdan on Sunday, marking the 631st anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo.
Attendees gathered around bishops and clerics, who sang the liturgy to mark the anniversary of the deaths. The liturgy was delivered by Bishop Atanasija and Bishop Teodosije.
Worshippers visited the Gracanica Monastery and the Gazimestan Monument, erected to commemorate the War of Kosovo, six to seven kilometres (ca. 4 miles) southeast of the actual battlefield, known as the Kosovo field.
«By staying here in this area, guarding this holy land, soaked in blood and also guarding our holy places and praying in them, we thereby confirm our vow and therefore we are grateful to God,» Bishop Teodosije stated. «Today, perhaps in much smaller numbers, because we used to fight here with the Turkish invaders, now we have another fight, there are many who would like us not to be in this area, but we will not give up, we will not surrender,» he added.
Vidovdan, also known as St Vitus's feast, is celebrated annually on July 28. It commemorates the Great Kosovo battle, fought in 1389 between an army led by Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic, who was killed in battle, and the Ottoman Empire. The memorial day is an important part of Serbian ethnic and national identity.