I extend felicitations to all Egyptians on the forty-ninth anniversary of the glorious October victories, which memory comes tomorrow.We plead for God to keep our country Egypt secure and peaceful, bless its authentic people with all blessings, and keep the whole world secure and peace.
The October War was a milestone, not only in the pages of Egyptian history, but also in the world history. The French politician Pierre Messmer, who held the position of Prime Minister in 1972, said: “As a result of the October War, the world entered a new economic phase, and the world’s conditions will not return to their former state before this war.” The October War demonstrated the ingenuity of Egyptian thought regarding the ability to overcome difficulties, the valor of the Egyptian soldier in defending his country, the steadfastness of the Egyptian citizen and his tireless work in backing the leaders and the great army for the liberation of the country.
American military historian Trevor N. Dupuy, president of the Hero Foundation for the Scientific Assessment of Historic Battles in Washington, says: “The professional planning and performance of the crossing operation was unparalleled around the world. This meticulous work- particularly the element of surprise, resulted in the great success achievedin crossing the Suez Canal on a broad front.” The Egyptian military thought – as usual – was up to the responsibility entrusted to it. Everyone put their potential and talents in order to achieve victory. We observe ingenuity of Egyptian planning, and heroes who were able to destroy, by thought and action, the myth of the indomitable Bar-Lev Line and the unbeatable army, until the Israeli side bore witnessforit. Moshe Dayan said, “I had a viewpoint: building bridges would take them all night long, and we can prevent this with our armored vehicles, but it turns out that preventing them is not an easy mission, we incurred an expensive cost to send tanks to the battlefront, a matter which we never expected”.
The Egyptian epic did not stop at the planning step only, but the accuracy of the work came along with the ingenuity of the Egyptian soldiers and their gallantry that dazzled the whole world, even the enemies! I remember the words of ShlomoBana’i, the commander of an armored company, when he described: “On the evening of Saturday, the sixth of October, we arrived at Qantara and faced forces from the Egyptian infantry, and we began the battle. The battalion dispersed and we became pairs and individuals, and the number of tanks shrank greatly, as the battalion that went to war was accompanied by 44 tanks, of which only 14 tanks remained! The October War is the largest and most dangerous war I have ever participated in.”
As for the Israeli military commander, ShamuelGonen, he said: “The Egyptian soldiers were advancing in waves following waves; we were shooting at them as they wereadvancing! We turned the surroundings into hell and they did not cease to advance! The color of the canal turned into the color of blood!Though they continued to advance!”
As for the Air Forces, it was said about it: “The Egyptian Air Force appeared at an unexpectedly high level… the Egyptian pilots showed that they lack nothing of courage and daring, the Arab ground crews showed supreme efficiency in operating and managing modern flight squadrons such as MiG-21 under difficult combat conditions.” There is no doubt that the Egyptian heroism witnessed by the world stemmed from the Egyptians’ love for their country, this love that has been manifested throughout the ages until today as we are building the New Republic.
In the October War, the meaning of the people’s cohesion with the army became evident, a cohesion that defied all difficulties in order to achieve victory to the country that would restore its dignity, status, and freedom of its lands. The love of the homeland gathered its children from every direction to unite together for its advancement. This is the case in every crisis Egypt passes through along history. Our brave soldiers and their leaders, supported and backed by the people, set one goal towards their eyes, and they kept working for years to achieve it, on accurate scientific foundations, with honesty, accuracy, sincerity, and love for this great and authentic country. Thus, with thought and action united in one heart victory was achieved.
On the anniversary of victory, I extend a salute of appreciation to everyone who participated in that great war, to all the men of the armed forces on the anniversary of their victories, to all the families of the nation’s righteous martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the safety and security of the nation. I felicitate every Egyptian who shared in this victory, to every Egyptian working to build the nation. And… Stories about beautiful Egypt never end!
The General Bishop
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center