“Every year we come to Vrhpolje to look for the national courage that existed amongst these houses and streets 26 years ago, for we live in a time when we are badly in need of it,” Janez Janša stressed as an official speaker at the event of the Association for the Values of Slovenian Independence called “Ponosni na Vrhpolje” (Proud of Vrhpolje). It had been there that a day earlier the war for Slovenian independence had begun, stressed Janša in his introduction and continued by explaining that Slovenians visit this place yearly to remember the national courage of the Vrhpolje people, “who practically with their bare hands resisted the army of the Yugoslav aggressors.”
According to Janša, at that time everything was at stake, and while today circumstances are not as ominous, we are still at a turning point. The leader of the biggest Slovenian opposition party also predicted that a lot will be happening, both in our country and in Europe. “What disappeared is the certainty from just a few years ago that future generations will no doubt be better off than those that are alive today,” he stressed and added that we come to Vrhpolje in search of the national courage that had been witnessed here 26 years ago because we need it. The president of the Slovenian Democratic Party expressed his conviction that courage does not disappear but that it reappears with each generation no matter how hard its challenges are. He underlined the fact that there are many nations in the world that do not have their own country – as an example he mentioned the Catalans, who want an independent country, though they are probably not as bad off in Spain as Slovenians were in Yugoslavia.
Janez Janša also spoke of the decision to form an independent country, the plebiscite, the legislation of laws (some of which were passed with an almost minuscule majority, for the politicians of the old, non-democratic structure opposed independence), and how all of this would have amounted to nothing had Slovenians not rebelled as a nation at the time. All important foreign statesmen had been invited to the ceremony for the Slovenian declaration of independence, but nobody had come. “Even those that were obviously deeply sympathetic towards us did not dare to show it publicly,” recalled the then minister for defence.