Right now, we have begun plans to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the re-opening of the College. In those 25 years, ACS has re-established itself as the most prestigious school in Bulgaria and as one of the preeminent schools in the world. Such great dreams have been realized here in these past 25 years. Now looking ahead, what dreams may come?
So let us imagine 25 years from now, the year 2042, a century after the College was closed down. 25 years from now you students will be in the prime of your lives. What dreams, at that time, will you be making come true in your lives?
And 25 years from now, what will become of this place where we stand? Who will occupy the halls of ACS? Will there still be students here like you? Or will it be the secret police again?
We cannot know what will happen, and how people in the future will look back on the history of the years from 2017 to 2042. But you do not have to be bystanders as that history unfolds.
To all of you I say this: You are not here at this College to learn how to be bystanders in life.
As you well know, our good earth is challenged, the air and our natural environment poisoned in many parts of the world. To bring back and sustain our natural environment, it will take leadership, commitment, and courage by people committed to making a difference, not bystanders.
So, too, is the political environment poisoned in so many places in this world. The air of freedom is not free, and as you all know, it cannot be found everywhere on this good earth. Preserving freedom and justice will need leadership, commitment, and courage in the future from people like you.
I say all of this now, not to frighten you, nor to burden you, but to challenge you. To challenge you ultimately with a question: How will you lead your life? Each of you has the power to make a difference in this world with your unique gifts. You have a lifetime to answer the question how to lead your life, and you have a lifetime ahead to make a difference in this world.
I want to repeat what I said a year ago: This is not just a national holiday we have to celebrate tomorrow. It is a celebration of sacred rights and responsibilities. Among these is our right as human beings to live and breathe freely. And our responsibility, the responsibility of every generation, including yours, to stand up for human rights, to live them, to preserve them, and to protect them.
So, I wish you, chestit treti mart! Happy Liberation Day! And may we together, always breathe the sweet air of liberty!