25 Dec TONIGHT, WE DO HAVE A THIRD FAMILY: THE EUTM FAMILY
Dear EUTM Mali members,
Tonight we celebrate Christmas Eve, and tomorrow Christmas Day. Normally it is a time to celebrate around your family and friends, to celebrate joy and to celebrate peace. If we think it over for a moment, we do have all the ingredients to have it here, where we are now.
All soldiers are used to have two families: their own, is which the most important one, which we miss, and with whom we should physically be today. Knowing that they are safe and sound, also because of what we are doing here, should be our most precious Christmas gift to them. Therefore I’m sure that all of us feel like we’re together with them. Please convey to all of your families my deepest thanks, for their generosity, allowing you to be here tonight, for the sake of others. Let them also know that I feel privileged to have you also here with me, and that I have the honour to serve together with you.
Then we have our second family, which is the military family. Normally we spend much more time with this one. This will also be one of these times. But the military family is also made of bonds, built on effort, sacrifice, sprit de corps, strong not only for our flags, but for each other. Quite frankly, after our own family, I don’t see any other better definition for family, then the one that we have within the military family.
But tonight, we do have a third family: the EUTM family. First, because it’s made out from soldiers, no matter the country, the rank, or if they are military or civilian. All of them are soldiers, EUTM family members. Secondly because, if Christmas is about joy and peace, that’s the exact reason why we are here: to bring the capabilities to allow this people to live peacefully, which is also the best Christmas gift that we can give them.
So we do have all the ingredients to celebrate as a Family, our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
I want to wish all EUTM members, and to your families at home, a safe and Happy Christmas.
Je veux souhaiter à tous les membres de l’EUTM, et à vos familles à la maison, un Noël sûr et heureux.
All of us at EUTM Mali, also want to extend our Merry Christmas wishes, to all our partners here in Mali and to all our 28 nations.