Mrkonjić Grad is a true sufferer of this time, but also a hero city in which life was overcome by death, and faith is doubt, said Bishop of Bihać-Petrovac Sergije at the academy on the occasion of this municipality’s Day established in memory of February 4, 1996, when its residents returned to their hearths after a five-month refuge.
We gathered at the academy to remember the common misfortune and to repeat to ourselves and others the long-told truth that we can do everything when we are together and that there is no such temptation that we cannot overcome together – in syllable, faith and love – said Bishop Sergije.
The Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Zoran Tegeltija, who was the mayor of this municipality, reminded those present that he had made many decisions, but that he was especially proud of the decision that February 4 would be Mrkonjić Grad Municipality Day.
– I’m quite sure this is a date without which there would be no more of this city. If we ever forget that our city was re-created on February 4, then we will lose ourselves and our identity. It is our obligation to remind the children who do not remember the pictures of the destroyed city what kind of city our people have returned to, ” Tegeltija said.
Mayor of Mrkonjić Grad Divna Aničić said that Municipality Day is an opportunity to remember the victims, but also to summarize the results of last year’s work.
– Last year we had 3,974 employees, which is the highest number since 2010. About 2.5 million KM were invested in various capital projects and we tried to cover different spheres of life – stated Aničić.
Honorary individuals and collectives were rewarded at the municipal charter ceremony.
The Charter of Honorary Citizen of Mrkonjić Grad Municipality with the Gold Symbol of the Municipality for Outstanding Works was given to Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Republic of Srpska President Željka Cvijanović and water polo players Duško and Gojko Pijetlović.
Mrkonjić Grad’s charter with the gold symbol of the municipality for exceptional achievements was given to Iskra MG’s woodworking company and an Italian wood parts manufacturer for Provud chairs.
The charter of a deserving citizen of Mrkonjić Grad municipality with the golden symbol of the municipality was given to businessman Miroslav Pekez.
The artistic part of the program included the Serbian Singing Society Jedinstvo, actress Ljiljana Blagojević and the Children’s Choir Little Prince from Mrkonjić Grad.
The ceremony at the Petar Kočić Cultural Center was attended by the Vice President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska, Željka Stojičić, and the mayors of neighboring municipalities.
In Mrkonjić Grad, one of the largest graves in the Republic of Srpska was discovered in the past war, in which 181 bodies were found, and in smaller graves 176 more were civilians.
During the 117 days of Croatian aggression, more than 2,000 residential buildings were destroyed and set on fire, while 6,000 homes were damaged and looted. War damage was estimated at KM 670 million. Although the perpetrators are known, no one was held responsible for the crimes in Mrkonjić Grad.