Srebrenica - our visit on July 6

The people of Srebrenica, and the Memorial Center dedicated to the victims of the July 1995 genocide against Muslims of Bosnia, are preparing to bury the remains of another 510 or so victims next week.  Why 17 years later?

Many or most of these bodies have already "seen" 2-3 other gravesites -- starting with the places where they were first buried, after being shot or otherwise murdered by the armies of Ratko Mladic.  Knowing that the world was discovering (in 1995) the extent of their genocide, Bosnian Serbs dug up the remains of their 8,300-plus victims (or most of them) and reburied them.  And often, they did it again.  And sometimes, they did it again.  One victim's remains were located in 4 separate burial sites.

Now, for these 8,372-plus souls, their remains are finally together and can finally be laid to rest. Yet there are thousands more missing people from this period - Muslims mostly as well as Croats and Serbs - as we learned on "day 1" of the Dialogue.

In this picture, you can see that the graves are dug and ready for the burials next week; you can perhaps see the vastness of this graveyard, with its thousands of 'headstones' or markers; you might even be able to see how beautiful is the landscape beyond the graves.  This is a beautiful place - until you step inside and read the 8,372 (and counting) names and see their final resting place. 


This site, this memorial, this graveyard, is a place that must be visited.  As difficult and emotional as it is, it is a place to come and remember the genocide, honor the dead, and honor the living survivors, who also are the victims, albeit living-breathing victims, for whom there is no justice on this earth.  Just to the right of the new graves being dug in the picture above, there is a small fountain (see below).  That simple structure has its "sisters" in other parts of the cemetery.  It's a simple structure, but it's a calming one and somehow eases one's soul - if only slightly. 


 

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