LESKOVAC, Serbia, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Serbia marked the Remembrance Day for victims of the NATO bombing that started 18 years ago, at Railway Bridge near the city of Leskovac that was destroyed with two bombs, which killed around 15 civilians.
The state ceremony organized near the village of Grdelica was attended by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, government and parliament members, members of army and police as well as several thousand people.
The beginning of the ceremony was marked with the whistle of the train number 393 that started crossing the reconstructed bridge with sounds of airplanes coming from the speakers, resembling the tragic event from April 12, 1999, when two projectiles struck moving train that crossed the South Morava River.
After laying wreaths at the monument dedicated to the killed civilians, Vucic said that Serbia will never be harmed again in the way that it was in 1999, and stressed that it will "never become a part of NATO nor any other alliance"
He reminded that on this day 18 years ago, NATO started "a tragic war in which 19 countries had a need to show that they are richer and better armed than our small Serbia".
Vucic said that in 78 days more than 50,000 projectiles struck Serbia, causing damages of around 30 billion U.S. dollars, loss of between 1,200 and 2,500 civilian lives.
"Serbia today celebrates that it is able to walk again and that from today it can only go forward," Vucic said.
The NATO bombing, which started on March 24, 1999, heavily damaged infrastructure, schools, hospitals and other civilian objects in Serbia, as well as the building of the Chinese embassy with staff inside.