Addressing a packed Lora arena, the president of the “HOS 9th Battalion” association, and the battalion’s wartime commander, Marko Skejo, said, among other things, that members of the battalion had given a major contribution to Croatia’s independence, ending his speech by shouting “For the homeland ready”, to which the audience did the same.
One of the battalion’s wartime commanders, Mile Ćuk, said its members had fought in all parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, with around 2,500 soldiers having passed through the unit, of whom more than 300 were wounded and 46 killed.
“Our fighters proudly and honourably wore on their uniforms insignia with the inscription ‘For the homeland ready’, the holy salute which today some want to ban. We Catholics celebrate Easter and Christmas, Homeland War Victory Day, Homeland Thanksgiving Day and War Veterans Day, which is the day of those who are for the homeland ready,” Ćuk said.
HOS was the armed wing of the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP) fighting in Croatia’s 1991-95 war of independence and “For the homeland ready” was the salute used by Croatia’s pro-Nazi Ustasha regime in WWII.
Attending today’s commemoration were also War Veterans Minister Tomo Medved’s envoy Matko Raos, Split-Dalmatia County deputy head Stipe Čogelja, representatives of neighbouring cities and members of parliament Ante Prkačin and Zlatko Hasanbegović.
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