His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, served on 4 August 2015, on the bridge at Sremska Rača the memorial service for the suffered two decades ago in the operation “Storm”.
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said tonight, at the marking of the day of remembrance of the suffering and persecution of Serbs on the bridge near Sremska Raca, that operation “Storm” was a terrible crime and that Serbia no longer wants to hide that fact.
The commemorative event began by a symbolic meeting of Vucic with Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, who laid into the Sava River a wreath in memory of all the persecuted Serbs.
I hope that Serbia will now be able to feel free to say that it was a crime, the Prime Minister said, adding that the crime has to be forgiven, but must not and cannot be forgotten.
He pointed out that in recent Serbian history it is hard to find a sadder day than 5 August, when 20 years ago “Storm” happened.
Today we are paying tribute to the victims, and there are more than 2,000 of those who were killed and reported missing in one of the greatest pogroms of the Serbian people in its past.
I do not want that the words of hatred, conflict and revenge mark this day. We have the peace with Croatia, we will keep it that way and we only want the best relations with Croatia in the future, Vucic said and expressed hope that the two countries will soon be good friends within the EU common house.
He said that this day is too hard for big words and mentioned the names of some of those exiled, who are part of the terrible statistics of more than 250,000 names of the people who disappeared or were expelled in August 1995.
President Dodik said: “Let no one deny anything. We will not deny Bosnia and Herzegovina, but let you stop denying Srpska. We cannot live in this negation.”
Serbs always strived for peace, Dodik said and stressed that everyone knows what is BiH and that no one needs to explain that to Republika Srpska.
Serbia was always a shelter for all Serbs who paid a prohibitive price of fallacy called Yugoslavia, from Slovenia and Croatia, across BiH, Kosovo and Macedonia all the way to Montenegro, he said.
According to him, all efforts today must be directed to peace, cooperation and must be turned towards European civilization values of the Republic of Srpska.
The anthems of the Republic of Serbia and Republika Srpska were played, while the memorial service for all Serb victims was served by Serbian Patriarch Irinej.
“A girl from the column”, who came to Serbia 20 years ago as a refugee, Djurdjica Popovic, shared at the commemoration her memories of that summer 1995.
Within the commeration a program entitled “Our sadness is…great” was also held.
The central state manifestation dedicated to the marking of the Remembrance Day for all the killed and expelled Serbs was attended by governments of the Republic of Serbia and Republic of Srpska, members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, National Assembly of Republic of Srpska and other state institutions of Republic of Serbia and Republic of Srpska, representatives of the Serbian Armed Forces, the Serbian Orthodox Church, diplomatic corps, as well as many citizens.
Government of the Republic of Serbia, Blic.