Candles Launched into Danube for Vukovar War Victims

Total Croatia News

Romulic & Stojcic

Romulic & Stojcic

ZAGREB, Nov 18, 2020 – Hundreds of red and white candles were launched into the Danube near Eltz Castle in Vukovar on Wednesday in memory of the defenders and civilians who were killed or went missing while defending Vukovar during the war.

The candles are part of the “Light River of Remembrance” project and they were launched on the occasion of Homeland War Victims Remembrance Day as well as Vukovar and Skabrnja Victims Remembrance Day.

Red candles were lit for the Vukovar defenders and civilians who are still unaccounted-for, while white ones were for killed defenders and civilians, said Ruzica Maric, head of the Vukovar City Museum.

In the late autumn and early winter of 1991, 2,717 people were killed in Vukovar during the aggression by the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNS) and Serb paramilitary units. Also, 286 persons from wartime Vukovar remain unaccounted for.

Vukovar was occupied by the JNA and Serb paramilitaries on 18 November 1991. About 7,000 POWs were taken to Serbian concentration camps while about 22,000 Croats and other non-Serbs were driven out of the city. The occupation ended on 15 January 1998 with the peaceful reintegration of the Danube river region into Croatia’s constitutional order.

About 10,000 patriots from all over Croatia and Croat-populated parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed through Vukovar today as part of the Remembrance Procession, including Croatia’s state leaders.

President Zoran Milanovic did not take part in the procession, but laid a wreath and lit a candle at the Ovcara memorial.

A delegation of the Social Democratic Party led by president Pedja Grbin laid a wreath and lit candles at the Vukovar Memorial Cemetery. They did not take part in the procession for epidemiological reasons.

Although announced, the Serbian president’s special advisor Veran Matic did not take part in the procession. He visited the Memorial Cemetery in the morning, laying a wreath and lighting a candle.

In a statement for the public broadcaster HTV, he expressed deep regret for everything that happened in Vukovar during the war.

“I came here… where the people of Vukovar who were killed are buried, so that we pay our respects to the victims and show solidarity with the victims’ families and to once again vow that we will do our best to trace the missing, so that their families can bury them in dignity, and so that we can set the foundations for establishing trust and reconciliation, normal coexistence, both here in Vukovar and between Croatia and Serbia,” said Matic.

“I express deep regret for everything that happened in Vukovar, to the people of Vukovar and everyone who was killed here,” he added.


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