Dušan Drndarević from the village of Zlakuša near Užice showed his love for his homeland and ancestors in an unusual way. This nineteen-year-old young man, who has been in love with history since he was a child, crossed the entire Thessaloniki front on foot, as Serbian soldiers once did, fighting for the liberation of their homeland.
With his father and friends, he was part of the “Fatherland Remembers” expedition, through which they passed 100 kilometers in memory of the 100 years since the battle of Kajmakčalan, which was and remains a symbol of Serbian courage.
“I heard stories from my grandfather that he never found out the location of the grave of his grandfather who died near Shkodra in the First World War, and I wanted to go through the path that our warriors went through, in order to get acquainted with our history. A desire arose in me to try to find his grave, but also to see the places where the heroes were killed. During that trip, I realized that the grave of my ancestors experienced the fate of the majority and that every trace of it was lost “, Dušan begins his unusual story for RINA.
The 100-kilometer road was not easy at all, and this young man passed it in five days. While walking over the mountain range that preserves the war history, Dušan came across over 100 graves, but also ammunition used during the battles in the First World War.
“With this pilgrimage, I wanted to pay tribute to my ancestors, we slept in tents, in the rain and wind, but I had a clear goal in front of me. Serious and difficult preparations preceded before we were able to embark on that long journey. We saw numerous graves, most of them overgrown with weeds, while the eternal houses of the allied soldiers were very well arranged. That is the picture I am disappointed with “, says Dušan.
This young man did not want any trace, not even a tombstone, left behind those who gave their lives for their country, so he decided to find all the names of the fallen fighters and write them in his book, which he will call “Traces of the Past”. In it, he described the movement of the army from the Užice region during the three wars, and he himself set out to explore the local terrain, in order to supplement the data that already exists about the fallen fighters.
“On each of the monuments, it is symbolically written that the heroes should be eternally remembered. However, the ravages of time have taken their toll, so most of the inscriptions are unclear. I wanted to really leave an eternal memory to all those heroes who lost their lives abroad, fighting for all of us so that they will be written in the book and never forgotten. I visited Zlakuša and nine surrounding villages, processed about 640 names, “said Dušan.
The greatest support in all his research was provided by his family. His father kept him company on all walks, and his sister and mother sorted the lists. His love for history was also seen in the fact that he took the topic for his graduation work from that subject and in that way delighted the professors of the Užice high school. He is also the winner of the “Mile Čarapić” award, which the Historical Archive of Užice awards for the most successful graduation work in the history of the homeland.