Croatia: Authorities hold commemoration of Serb victims in Grubori village

Croatia: Authorities hold commemoration of Serb victims in Grubori village

The President of the Republic of Croatia Zoran Milanović attended on Tuesday a commemoration, which kicked off in Plavno at the cross erected in memory of the victims in that village, and continued all the way to Grubori at the cross erected for the victims in the nearby hamlet.

“This is not a protocol event, we are here to pay our respect to what happened twenty-five years ago and what caused moral abomination in me then. Now, twenty-five years later, it is easy to say that no one has personally been held accountable for this. It is more or less known which unit was here on that day”, President Milanović said in Grubori, adding that he had learned about what had happened in that community from an article in the New York Times.

“The harm that the state inflicts on itself, or is inflicted by those who act on its behalf, is something that is not absolute. We must have consideration for others. The murder of six innocent, elderly people evokes abomination”, the President emphasized. “In the name of what damn justice did the people who killed innocent civilians act?” he wondered, adding that great harm had also been done to the Croatian state. “It tarnished Croatia’s reputation, which had been clean until then, the reputation of a country that was attacked. It also influenced the reputation of one Croatian police unit that managed to fight and be exposed to danger during the entire war in a heroic, exemplary and honest way – the special police unit. After this, nothing will ever be the same, given the moral abomination and the harm that was caused”, President Milanović underscored.

“Wars are over and it is time for the normal in us, for the normal that exists in every human being to come out: the good, the tame and the naive. Enough of what marked the relations between the two peoples, two nations so alike that it is difficult to find in Europe two that are more similar to each other. Croats and Serbs are the two most similar peoples sharing the most contact points”, said the President of the Republic, adding that today it was difficult to tell people to stay here, as the population was non-existent. He concluded his address with the verses of the Serbian poet Aleksa Šantić: Ostajte ovdje, sunce tuđeg neba ne grije tako što ovo grije, grki su tamo zalogaji hljeba gdje svoga nema i gdje brata nije! [Stay here, the sun of someone else’s sky is not as warm as this sky, the bite of bread is bitter there, where one has no one of their own, no brother!].

The ceremony was attended by the Serb and Croat government vice presidents, Tomo Medved and Boris Milošević respectively. In their addresses, Milošević and Medved emphasized that all innocent victims, regardless of nationality, must be commemorated,  that it is time to leave the past behind and build a better future for all. /ibna