War Veterans from BiH, Croatia and Serbia: A different Message about the Past

November 10, 2017 3:30 PM

The Center for Nonviolent Action, an organization dedicated to peace, today organized a joint visit of war veterans from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia in Gorazde. Veterans paid tribute to the defenders of this city, namely members of the police, laid flowers by a memorial for children killed during the siege from 1992 to 1995, visited the Nativity Museum, the famous Bridge under the Bridge, which during the war, was used for crossing from one side of the Drina river to the other, and the Memorial Park Rorovi.

“Today we are in Gorazde on the occasion of a joint visit of former fighters of all the armies that fought in the territory of BiH and Croatia. We’re sending a message to the people who died in Gorazde during the siege between ’92 -’95 and are showing that the fighters can send a different message about the past together, that we want to join together for the dead and give some of our future generations a different kind of memory of the past. Not one that is divided and still full of hatred and distance towards and for each other, but to show that even the fighters who fought against each other today can lay flowers together to the memorials of all nations,” said Adnan Hasanbegovic, a former member of the ARBiH and member of the Center for Nonviolent Action.

With the situation in Gorazde during the siege from 1992 to 1995, former members of the Yugoslav Army, the Croatian Army, the ARBiH, the VRS and the HVO met one of the guerrilla war commanders, Abduselam Sijercic, who is today the president of the Veterans Association of the Bosnian-Podrinje Canton.

“This is a memorial for the future, of which we are particularly sentimental. We hope that what happened never happens against. This is also our debt to our children. Most of them came from nearby towns to save themselves, but they were killed,” Sijercic said and pointed out that the memorial was raised in memory of more than 148 killed children. Data on the number of children killed during the attack on Gorazde are not final.

Milos Lazovic, the deputy president of the Presidency of the Warriors’ Organization of the Republic of Srpska, said that there are no reasons today, nor were there any in the past, for neighbors to feel resentment towards each other.

“I think war veterans, no matter what their nation is and which army they belonged to, did not begin this war, but we were the most affected. We suffered in the war and we are suffering after the war. We are the collateral damage of some senior leaders, one big brother or I do not know who, because there was no reason, and there is no reason today, that the neighbors should feel animosity towards one another,” Lazovic said.

The Center says that they want to show that former fighters are a social group that has a high degree of credibility and a potential for peacebuilding work precisely because they have experienced war on their own skin, often in a very cruel way.

(Source: Fokus.ba / photo: Fokus.ba)

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