Church of Serbia – 7/8/2020
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej officiated a memorial service for the killed Serbs in the armed operation “Storm” in Croatia in 1995. The memorial service was officiated at Sremska Raca, Serbia, on 4th August 2020.
The President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, and the Serbian member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, unveiled a commemorative plaque on the bridge in Sremska Raca, via which processions of refugees had found refuge in Serbia. The President of Republika Srpska, Mrs Zeljka Cvijanovic, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Mrs Ana Brnabic, His Grace Bishop Vasilije of Srem and His Grace Fotije of Zvornik-Tuzla, attended the marking of the Day of Remembrance of the perished and exiled Serbs as well.
“United we can do everything, but separated – nothing. I am so proud that after so many decades those refugees have found comfort among our people. I am so proud that some have failed to forbid us bearing the Serbian name and family name. I am proud because, after many decades, the Serbs have had, literally and truly, their free and independent state that can and will stand up in defence of Serbian graves defending thereby Serbian life and our future,” said President Vucic.
President Vucic recalls that Serbia and Republika Srpska have jointly commemorated Serbian suffering since 2014, adding that we must indicate all the war crimes that Serbs experienced, without keeping silent about the ones that our compatriots committed as well.
“We have to show them that they haven’t succeeded in those plans and that we, Serbia and Republic Srpska, have managed to say ‘no’ to lies and raise our heads and say without insulting anyone that Serbia lives and will not disappear and will not be stigmatized,” he said.
Responding to the invitation to celebrate an anniversary of the “Storm” in the name of reconciliation, and thereby the suffering of Serbs in Croatia, President Vucic said that Serbia had not forced anyone to recognize the genocide, but only wanted that they show reverence for the victims in the same way as Serbia had had the strength not to be silent about the crimes Serbs had committed. “We have never forced you to admit the genocide committed against the Serbian people, that is so obvious; we just asked you to show reverence for the Serbian victims. You don’t even have to show false tears. Just say, we know that an entire people suffered in Jasenovac because it bore a wrong family name”, President Vucic said and added that Serbia would never accept such humiliation to celebrate the tragedy of the Serbian people and disaster of Serbian civilians, Serbian children …
“As for those who are silent about the most serious atrocities committed during the Second World War and the gravest ethnical cleansing after the Second World War, such as during the operation “Storm”, we have to tell them that we want reconciliation and peace – always, reconciliation – yes, but never humiliation,” President Vucic said.
(translated into English by Sanja Simic de Graaf)