Croatia commermorates 20 years of Operation Storm with various events, including a military parade in Zagreb.
The best Croatian soldiers and police officers, as well as military weapons were presented at the military parade in Zagreb on Tuesday, which Croatia organized to mark the 20th anniversary of the Operation Storm, according to a report in Novi List on August 5, 2015.
The impressive four kilometer long column included active soldiers, veterans, volunteers, armored vehicles, powerful howitzers, M-84 tanks and other military vehicles. Almost three thousand participants and 300 vehicles took part in an hour and a half long parade. Perfectly trained, motivated, and encouraged by the crowds, they have done an impressive job.
When at 6 pm President of the Republic and the supreme military commander Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović ordered: “Let the parade begin!”, three MiGs of the Croatian Air Force flew over, while 20 cannon volleys reminded everyone of the 20th anniversary of the Operation Storm.
On Tuesday, Knin was symbolically present in Zagreb with the original 20-metre flag from the Knin Fortress. For many citizens, it was a very emotional moment and some even had tears in their eyes. The Knin flag was brought to the ceremony by military cadets.
The emotions were further awoken with the verses of Croatian national anthem, which was sang by young Mia Negovetić, accompanied by the choir of the Croatian Navy and the Croatian Army Orchestra.
Vukovar was also not forgotten. While the members of the 204th Vukovar Brigade were passing through the eponymous street, crowds enthusiastically applauded them.
One of the impressive moments was a minute of silence for those killed in the Operation Storm. In spite of thousands of people gathered, the silence was absolute.
The military parade was composed of three parts: the infantry units, aviation and armored units. It was an opportunity for Zagreb to simultaneously greet active soldiers and veterans, as well as picturesque historic troops led by Alkars from Sinj, who will in a few days mark their 300th anniversary.
Pilots of the acrobatic group “Wings of Storm” have demonstrated some of their breathtaking abilities.
Impressive columns of armored vehicles received long and vigorous applause from citizens. Soldiers who took part in the parade could not hide their pride. Engineers, signals corps, logistics, artillery, howitzers, rocket launchers, trucks, guns… all military units were represented.
Through video screens, Zagreb was connected with the coast and the Brač Channel where ships of the Croatian Navy participated in their part of the parade.
The parade also included civilian services: firefighters, Red Cross and Croatian Mountain Rescue Service. MiGs, which opened the parade, passed once more at the very end.
The parade was viewed by hundreds of invited guests, including high government officials: President of the Republic Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, prime minister Zoran Milanović, parliament speaker Josip Leko, former presidents Stjepan Mesić and Ivo Josipović, and war generals, including General Ante Gotovina, who is the symbol of the Operation Storm and the Croatian military victory.