Operation “Flash” was one of the major events during the Homeland War.
Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković and Parliament Speaker Željko Reiner visited Okučani on Sunday to take part in events marking the 21st anniversary of the military-police operation “Flash”, in which Croatian forces liberated Western Slavonia, reports Večernji List on May 1, 2016.
Prime Minister Orešković said that he came to Okučani to honor all the fallen soldiers and civilian victims without which Croatia would not be free. The ceremony was also attended by Veterans Affairs Minister Tomislav Medved and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces General Mirko Šundov.
The Prime Minister thanked veterans for their commitment and added that the present generations should lead the country towards a better future. Whenever I am at a place like this it is hard for me when I remember all the suffering of those who made our state possible, but on the other hand, I am proud of them and they will not be forgotten, said the Prime Minister.
The military operation Flash was a key turning point in the war because it served as an introduction to the operation Storm, said Speaker Reiner, who also recalled his own participation in the war. In operation Flash, 51 soldiers and police officers were killed and they enabled us to live in freedom and democracy, said Reiner, adding that without operations Flash and Storm there would not be Croatia as it exists today.
The ceremony began with the national anthem and the laying of wreaths and lighting of candles at the foot of the Central Cross. After the names of killed soldiers were read, three combat aircraft flew over Okučani. After the ceremony, the guests visited the memorial house devoted to the operation.
During the operation Flash, Croatian forces liberated Western Slavonia in less than 32 hours and thus marked the beginning of the return of Croatian sovereignty to internationally recognized borders, which was continued three months later with the operation Storm. These operations created conditions for the later peaceful reintegration of Eastern Slavonia and the Croatian Danube region, which completed the process of restoring the sovereignty over the territory of entire Croatia.