Is this how we treat our war veterans?

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Two weeks ago, Vukovar was declared a city of piety. What Auschwitz is to the Jews, that is what Vukovar is to Croats. Cyrillic in Vukovar is what the swastika is in Auschwitz – unacceptable. Vukovar is a sacred city, but it is also an eerie city, where the birds stopped singing a long time ago. Humanity must never forget the horror of Vukovar, and yet, that horror continues on today.

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Canadians and Americans from coast to coast  paused this week, to honor the sacrifices our soldiers and war veterans made for our freedom. While Rememberance Day and Memorial Day ceremonies  were held on Monday in the USA and Canada, a Croatian war veteran was brutally beaten by a  Croatian police officer while attempting to remove a bilingual Cyrillic sign on a government building in Vukovar. The war veteran, Darko Pajčić, was no ordinary war veteran. He was only 18 years when he dropped out of school, equipped with only his running shoes and a rifle, to defend his beloved Vukovar.  To add salt to the wound, the Croatian officer responsible for the beating was a Serb, who fought against Croatian forces in 1991. 

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This morning, Croatian Minister of Internal Affairs, Ranko  Ostojić, stated that ‘alcohol is to blame’ for the incident.  Really, Mr.  Ostojić? Was alcohol to blame for this war veteran, who likely suffers from PTSP, to lie there injured in his own blood while police officers stand around and  debate whether to call for medical help?  Was alcohol to blame for the war from ’91-95? Is this how we treat our war veterans? When did a bilingual sign, a sign that should not even be there, become more important than a human life?

It is time for action! The Association for the Defense of Vukovar needs to rally and the people of Croatia need to stand up for the the rights of CROATIAN people, not always focusing on a small minority that makes up the population. It is time that our war veterans be treated with dignity and respect! It is time that government institutions employ Croats, and not those that ravaged our homeland! It is time for Croatia to rid themesleves of the red communists that are leading this country given to us from God,  into complete destruction! It is time for this Serbian man disguised in a Croatian police uniform to be brought to justice!

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Milanović: The graves will never forgive you!

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Croatian singer, Mate Mišo Kovać released a song in late 1991 – “Grobovi Vam nikad oprostite neće” (The graves will never forgive you). “You” was the connotation for Serb rebels that went on a killing spree in Croatia. Quickly, the song became the unofficial anthem for the war in Croatia, and the fall of Vukovar. Whenever I hear the song, I am swept over with emotion, and the disturbing pictures of Vukovar start to roll through my mind.

After months of calling for a meeting, Premier Zoran Milanović met yesterday with the Headquarters for the Defense of Vukovar (Stožer za obranu grada Vukovara) in a last ditch attempt to bring resolution to the controversy of Cyrillic signage in Vukovar.

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The 4 hour meeting did not bring much resolution. The president of the Defense of Vukovar, Tomislav Josić, admits that no concrete plans have been made. They took advantage of the 4 hours with the premier, to ‘educate’ him on the current day issues that plague this broken city, and to remind him of the bloodshed taken place 22 years ago. It is unimaginable that ordinary citizens need to educate the premier of Croatia on the biggest tragedy that country has seen in modern day history?!?! If it wasn’t so sad – I’d be laughing.

The Croatian government has been given a 15 day ultimatum for the Cyrillic signs to be replaced with the old Latin only signs. In the meantime, the premier has decided to pull all police personnel that have been safeguarding the signs.

This morning in Vukovar the signs were still up but with no police presence. Many people are disappointed and frustrated with the lack of resolution, but the battle is still not over. Mr. Milanović, the Croatian people will not forgive you and neither will the graves.

Vukovar, 17.10.2013 - Prosvjednici za vrijeme sastanka Milanovica i Stozera za zastitu hrvatskog Vukovara

Dignut će se grobovi
Za pobjede nove
Gdje ste sada sokolovi
Obranimo snove

The graves will rise
For new battles
Where are you hawks
Let’s defend our dreams

(Marko Perkovic Thompson – 2013)