President Osmani's address on the 23rd anniversary of the Battle of Koshare

Dear families of martyrs, our heroes!
Honourable representatives of the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo, honourable members of the Assembly of Kosovo, ministers of the Government of Kosovo,
Honourable Chairmen of Political Parties of the country,
Honourable representatives of the Kosovo Security Force, KSF Generals,
Many dear compatriots who have come from different countries of Europe, but also from further away to honour our heroes today,
Honourable former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, comrades of Agim Ramadani, Sali Çekaj and other martyrs,
Dear brothers and sisters from the Republic of Albania!
Distinguished representatives of local government, mayors and respectable participants; 
April 9th is a special day in the history of the Republic of Kosovo: it marks the frontal war in the wider region of the Koshare border belt, with the aim of expelling the Serbian occupying forces from the Albanian-Albanian border area and with the aim of liberating our country. 
This was one of the most glorious battles fought by the Kosovo Liberation Army, more precisely by the Third Operational Group, which consisted of the 131st and 134th Brigades and the Diversion-Observer Battalion, which later merged into the 138th Brigade.

On April 9th as well, the constitution of our Republic was approved, thus symbolizing the goal for which many heroes such as Agim Ramadani, Salih Çekaj and many, many other martyrs were sacrificed in the glorious Koshare. They joined eternity along with the heroes and heroines of the rifle and pen who sacrificed themselves for the freedom and independence of our country.
Therefore, while we congratulate today the Constitution Day, we also congratulate the symbolism of the liberation of Kosovo and honour the glorious battle of Koshare and the heroic fight of the Kosovo Liberation Army. The Constitution, the basic act of the state, is thus related to the battle for freedom, to its bloodshed and to the determination that the women and men of Kosovo openly expressed in the battle of Koshare. We have the Constitution and the state because we had our heroes.
The Battle of Koshare also showed that inequality in armaments is not the defining key to wars. The fighting spirit, the determination to see the country free and the willingness to sacrifice everything for it are more powerful than any military arsenal.
Therefore, today, we commemorate this battle as one of the proudest moments of our glorious history. This battle proved that freedom has no price, but also that the price of freedom we have paid as a people is extremely high. But it also showed that the determination to achieve freedom and also the spirit of a people are invincible.
In its greatness, in the insurmountable and decisive role that this battle played in the KLA fight for freedom, it preserves a place of honour in our collective memory as a people. Without exaggeration, as the commander of the sabotage-observation battalion, Mr. Quni, it touches the boundaries of legends with the way it is organized. When the heroes Xhemajl Fetahaj and Milazim Shala fell in battle, less than three days later, they were replaced by their brothers, Xhevat Fetahaj and Xhevdet Shala, thus fulfilling the legends about renewal and our epic tradition in a real battle.
Koshare raised hopes for freedom and complemented the symbolism of the eventual removal of iron barriers in twentieth-century Europe. Koshare was the seal of the missing freedom in Albanian lands. The sacrifice of Albanian sons and daughters from all lands testified to the incompatibility, but also the readiness of the Albanians to fight the injustices that had been done to them for many centuries.
The breaking of the border between Kosovo and Albania on April 9th 1999, marked not only a moral victory for the KLA, but it paved the way for the supply of weapons and logistical support to many war zones inside Kosovo. Meanwhile, it raised the hope of thousands of deportees from the country that the iron line had been broken and a return to the land of the ancestors was not only possible but also inevitable.
But Koshare also witnessed our early alliance with the West and with democratic countries around the world, the West which was found near our struggle for freedom at a difficult time in history, when the Albanian people were facing the genocide perpetrated against them by a killer regime whose trial is not yet complete and justice for the victims has not yet been put in place. Coordination with NATO experts to specify the location of Serbian forces in the territory of Kosovo was the first joint step in realizing our dream of joint affiliation and participation in military operations with NATO, which the Kosovo Security Force you are living it day by day.
President Rugova's Euro-Atlantic vision and the sacrifice of the sons and daughters of the KLA are being realized in a free Kosovo, whose institutions are working to consolidate the country strongly in the community of Western values. This strategic determination of ours and this vision of ours would be impossible without the sacrifice of thousands of our sons and daughters, therefore the memory of them will be permanent. It will be renewed not only on anniversaries like this one today, but throughout our journey.
We bow to them, to the sacrifice of Agim Ramadani, the sacrifice of Sali Çekaj, Xhemajl Fetahu and thousands of other martyrs who fell for the freedom of Kosovo. They stand on the foundations of our freedom and statehood. Institutional care to testify is essential. Likewise, care for the families of the martyrs, for the war invalids, for the veterans and for all those who gave everything for our state.
The historical memory of Koshare, for the sacrifice and bravery shown there, is a necessity in building a state as our heroes wanted.
Koshare will always remain our guiding light in every step forward towards the strengthening of our beloved state.
Glory to the heroic deed of the Koshare's warriors!
Glory to all the martyrs of the Kosovo Liberation Army!
Eternal memory for our heroes!
Thank you!

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