Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic on Thursday congratulated war veterans and all citizens on Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and Croatian War Veterans Day, which are observed on August 5.
He said in a note that on August 5, "we remember the magnificent" 1995 Operation Storm "in which we showed that, inspired by Croatian citizens' desire for a free and independent state, we can defend ourselves."
Oreskovic said that in that military and police operation Croatian defenders liberated over 10,000 square kilometres of Croatian territory, "creating the prerequisites for bringing peace in war-affected areas and defeating the Greater Serbia policy."
He said that 21 years later, Croatia was an important member of NATO and the newest member of the European Union.
Oreskovic especially thanked veterans and their families, saying "we must all be worthy of their sacrifice and invest all our knowledge, strength and will" to make Croatia "better, economically stronger and more prosperous."
He also called for celebrating August 5 with dignity and proud.