Today, in Rača will be marked the Day of Remembrance of all Serbs who died and were expelled in the Croatian military-police operation “Storm”.
The celebration is organized jointly by Serbia and the Republic of Srpska, and it is planned that Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Serb member of the Presidency of BiH Milorad Dodik will meet on the bridge in Sremska Rača, and they will be welcomed by Serbian Patriarch Irinej.
The patriarch will serve a memorial service and hold a sermon, and before that, a memorial will be unveiled on the bridge and wreaths will be laid.
After that, a quote from the indictment should be read, in which the Hague Tribune determined that Operation Storm in the summer of 1995 was a joint criminal enterprise led by then-Croatian President Franjo Tuđman, designed to expel the Serb population from Kninska Krajina.
After that, an address by Dodik, and then by Vučić, is scheduled, and a speech should be given by Suzana Bila, a blind witness to the persecution from the refugee column.
The Republic of Srpska President Željka Cvijanović and Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić will also attend the commemoration.
Part of the cultural and artistic program will be dedicated to the suffering of Serbs from Krajina, as well as reciting Branko Ćopić’s verses “On Peterovačka Cesta”, where Serbs were killed in World War II and the poem “Stojanka Majka Knežopoljka” by Skender Kulenović, which is a testimony to Ustasha crimes against Serbs civilians.
The verses will be recited by the actor Nebojsa Kundačina and the champion of the National Theater in Banja Luka, Radenka Ševa, while the children’s choir will perform “Flowers of Glory” by Vladislav Petković Dis, as a testimony to the generational suffering of Serbs.
Slobodan Trkulja is in charge of the musical part of the program, and stories about the terrible suffering of Serbs in Croatia will be accompanied by the sounds of footsteps, wedges, cries, moans, sobs, breaking branches, the roar of waves, the roar of the wind.
This year, there will be no mass gathering at the commemoration due to the epidemiological situation with the coronavirus, but viewers will be able to see the names of dozens of Serbs killed on the surface of the Sava River, while there will be a holographic display of the White Angel in the sky.
The criminal military-police operation “Storm” began on August 4, 1995, with an offensive by the Croatian army and police, and HVO units in the area of Banija, Lika, Kordun and northern Dalmatia.
A day later, on August 5, the Croatian army entered the almost abandoned Knin and hoisted the Croatian flag, while columns of refugees headed for Serbia through Serb territories in BiH.
During this action, more than 220,000 Serbs were expelled from the centuries-old hearths, while 1,869 are listed as dead and missing, most of whom are civilians.
In 2015, the International Court of Justice qualified “Storm” as ethnic cleansing, but not as genocide, although many world experts claim that the operation had all the characteristics of genocide.