Solemn Reminder: Sarajevo Memorial

Today is my son’s birthday and Easter celebrations are ramping up for the weekend. The sun is shining, spring has sprung and everyone is in a jovial mood around here. In fact, I was just about to start icing the Titanic but a glance at a friends page on Facebook hit home the realities of the world and our past.

My friend is from the city of Sarajevo. She often tells me stories of her life there, before and during the war. I’ve seen photos of its beauty and often wish I could walk the streets with her. For her, though, going back now is not the same. There are too many memories of war, death, and hard times. Not to mention that everything has changed. It looks the same, but she tells me it feels completely different. I may never know her nightmare but some days I can hear it in her voice and see it in her eyes.

Twenty years ago today, the siege on the city began and the conflict lasted for three more years. All tolled, 11,541 people lost their lives in the siege, and today, along the streets of the city a memorial has been place. The same number of red chairs as souls lost sit, row upon row, reminding us of the ravages of war. Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Why does it never stop?

Chairs at Sarajevo

For a video account see:
Sarajevo Marks 20th Anniversary of Beginning of Siege

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4 thoughts on “Solemn Reminder: Sarajevo Memorial

  1. It’s a sad reality. I think we keep doing this because one generation goes through the ordeal and tells their children everything about it in order to avoid history repeating itself. And when those children grow up, forget everything their parents told them. And history gets repeated itself… over and over again.
    Just like a vicious circle.

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    1. I think you’re right Gabriela and what it really all boils down to is that we are essentially animals: territorial and viscious when threatened. I’m no psychologist but look at toddlers at play…they’d rip each other to shreds if no one was there to monitor them. William Golding caught the essence and dark side of human behavior in Lord of the Flies. Certainly many of us have learned to adapt to societal and moral codes and some of us are better at controlling these impulses than others but aggressiveness seems to be innate.

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  2. We never learn. You’re both right of course. Thing is, we humans are turning into highly efficient killing machines. What took place in Sarajevo 20 years ago is happening right now in several hot spots all over the world, including mu own land. We’re sort of counting the dead as I leave my comment here. I hope those who survive this and other ordeals have a chance to pay their respect for the fallen ones who paved the way for all to follow.

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    1. Abufares, Syria was very much on my mind as I wrote the post. Over 9000 killed and counting. Too bad peace didn’t have behind it the force that war does…but then it wouldn’t be peace. Thank you for being here as always.

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