Idag hade jag nöjet och äran att som representant för Skövde kommun välkomna Nordic Veteran MC Tour till vår stad. Touren utgörs av MC-burna veteraner från Danmark, Norge, Finland och Sverige och syftar till att manifestera solidariteten mellan nordiska veteraner. Målgång sker i Stockholm på Veterandagen den 29 maj.
Vid en lunch på Soldathemmet mottog jag en sköld och höll ett tal. Det följer nedan.
Member of The Nordic Veteran MC Tour, veterans, ladies and gentlemen.
My name is Anders G Johansson. I am an elected representative in Skövde municipality and today I have the privilege to represent our local authority. On behalf of Skövde municipality I welcome The Nordic Veteran MC Tour to our city.
Skövde has been a military site since the beginning of the 20th century. In 1904, the The Göta Logistic Corps was deployed in northern Skövde. In 1905, The Life Regiment Hussars moved into the barracks here next to the heath. In 1914 it was The Skaraborg’s regiment’s turn to move into newly built barracks. Over the years since then the regiments together with several military staffs and schools have been operating in Skövde.
Skövde is with its two remaining regiments, as well as the Land Warfare Centre, the Logistics School, the Army workshop and the Western Military Region’s staff, perhaps Sweden’s most important military city. Many of Skovde’s residents daily work to make Sweden and the Nordic countries safer. Several are those who in Skövde do their basic military training as conscripts. And the number of conscripts will happily increase in the next coming years, I’m so happy to say.
Of course there are many people connected to Skövde who through the years have served Sweden and the world peace in international operations. Several of these operations have been conducted in close cooperation with personnel from our Nordic neighbour countries. Many are those who made personal sacrifices and contributions to peace and security in countries and areas far, far away from here. Many are those who came home with experiences of exotic places, of adventures, of lifelong friendship and the meaningful feeling of doing good and making difference. But also the feeling of a long absence from home and your loved ones. Some are those who have paid the high price of injuries and scars, that come both visible and invisible to the eye. Some are those who have lost their lives in the line of duty serving our nation.
For their efforts, we in Skövde are proud and very grateful. With their missions, they have primarily contributed tin the important work of making the world, Sweden and the Nordic region safer. They have developed knowledge and experience of benefit to our defence, but also to the civil society in our municipality and our settlement.
Our veterans deserve attention and gratitude both from the Swedish nation and from the Swedish society. The memory of their efforts and their sacrifices should and will never be forgotten. In the military town of Skövde, the municipality has finally decided to raise an official veteran monument. In the autumn this year, hopefully on the UN day of October 24, we will inaugurate an atmospheric place in one of the city’s parks. A place for veterans and their relatives to visit for remembrance. A place for the residents to pay their respect. A place to feel grateful. The memorial site is selected and designed in close dialogue with the veteran association Fredsbaskarna. That is a collaboration that we do appreciate.
Finally, I wish The Nordic Veteran MC Tour a pleasant journey towards Stockholm and the Veteran Day on May 29. I hope we will meet there again. I myself am one of Skovde’s many veterans and I will attend.
Finally, finally; Thank you! Your activity is bringing attention to our Nordic veterans. Thank you for choosing to do so in our city. You are always welcome back to Skövde! Thank you!