With messages for unity and expensive ikebana placed on crumbling monuments, the country marked October 11 with the motto “Always on the right side”. But in this timeless time, we need an explanation – which is the right one?

Author: Katerina Topallova

81 years ago on October 11, with the attack of the Macedonian partisans on the Bulgarian section in Prilep, the National Liberation War against the Bulgarian, Italian and German fascist invaders began.

As a mark of respect, local and foreign delegations sent messages and laid flowers at monuments dedicated to the 1941 fighters across the country.

The rain was an ally to hide the shame! In the square in front of the government, on half-removed tiles where the Liberators of Skopje monument is located, a red carpet was laid, which was supposed to give a dose of solemnity to the moment. Even though it was stitched from both ends, the carpet failed in places where the tiles have long been missing. The Deputy Prime Minister for good governance policies, Grkovska, did not manage to say who is responsible for the bad image of the Government yard where the policymakers are located but said that we all together must take care of the public interest.

In front of the monument in Kumanovo, it was even more embarrassing. The colorful flowers were supposed to be a symbol of respect for the fighters who gave their lives for free Macedonia. The monument that is literally collapsing is a reflection of the social situation and the declarative commitment of decades to things. Flowers cannot hide how careless there is for the things that should remain to remind us of who we are, where we are, and what we are for. The messages sent from in front of the crumbling monument have no value but are just another indication of the absurdity in which we live.

It is shameful to send an invitation to the media to lay flowers on a monument that has no view and cannot be a reference point for a big day like October 11, it is even more shameful to spend money on flowers to place in front of something that does not exist, it is shameful to stand in front of such a dilapidated building and speak of respect, care, and calls for unity and togetherness.

But these two monuments are only part of a series of ruined monuments, undone, damaged, pushed aside entirely, or left half to serve as a mockery. There is no day, holiday, or character so great that we try to preserve it and remain a dignified monument that will witness a moment in the history of the creation of our country.

How much value are messages of unity when the city and the central government from different parties cannot come together to protect such monuments that glorify them on this day? What message of unity can be sent by the government and the opposition, who on the same day cannot help but continue to accuse each other of trivial things? What value can have the message of unity in a state that is drowning in corruption, that has no time for its citizens, nor does it have citizens who trust it?

The ruined monuments are nothing but an indicator of the “system collapse” that is happening to us in every segment of our lives in this territory. Flowers are laid by politicians who I don’t know if they are aware that they are being followed by confused, scared, and disappointed citizens because not even a celebration like this can pass without flaws because flaws have been created over three decades.

Who believes that we were and still are on the right side? For the people of 1941, we see that they made the right decisions, but what will we tell our generations? Which side do we take? Which is the right one?

In a time of total disintegration of community, empathy, solidarity, and cohesion, everyone takes their own way! And considers only his way to be the right one, meanwhile creating many bubbles that in the long run will be ruined like the monuments in front of which we placed flowers!