An important 20th anniversary for Croatia tomorrow.
On Tuesday, Croatia will mark the 20th anniversary of the Operation Storm with a large military parade in Zagreb. Final rehearsals were completed on Sunday, and now everything is ready for the parade which will start at 6 pm on Tuesday.
Just before the final rehearsals, Cadet Battalion of the Armed Forces carried through the streets the historical Croatian flag from the Knin fortress. They carried the flag to the central stage in front of the Vatroslav Lisinski Performance Hall. Thirteen-year-old Mia Negovetić, together with the members of choir “Sveti Juraj” of the Croatian Navy, rehearsed her performance of the Croatian national anthem.
The rehearsals, which took place on Sunday afternoon, attracted a large turnout of citizens of Zagreb. Despite the occasional rain, they patiently waited for the military parade to pass through Vukovarska Street. The parade will include around 3,000 participants and 300 vehicles and military planes.
Despite all the controversies between the veterans’ associations and the organizing committee for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Operation Storm, veterans’ echelon in the parade will include as many as 450 veterans,. The interest of veterans was even bigger, but larger echelon is not possible because of logistical reasons.
The parade will include 41 veterans of the Interior Ministry, and a large number of veterans of the military police units. Among the reserve brigades the interest is also large, and it has been confirmed that there will be at least 22 Bosniak war veterans, 15 veterans from Zagorje, a few dozen volunteers from the Croatian Navy and 17 disabled war veterans from Sisak-Moslavina County, despite the boycott of the main disabled war veterans association led by HDZ’s member of parliament Josip Đakić.
Although the leaders of veterans from Vukovar unequivocally said that they would not participate, the city will still be represented by 65 veterans, who among themselves selected their representatives. They will be led by brigadier Stjepan Sučić. All the veterans have the option to go together afterwards to the celebrations in Knin.
The Ministry of Defence will give new uniforms to all the veterans. An especially emotional moment for many will certainly be a procession of war flags. In spite of the decision of veterans’ associations at the national level, the procession will include many veterans. “We have also invited the heads of associations which have called for a boycott of the parade. It depends on them whether they will come. However, respecting the decisions of heads of their associations, we were actually forced to reject some of their members in order not to create strife among them”, said a source from the Ministry of Veteran Affairs.