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Commemorating the saddest moment of recent Croatian history

Text: CPT Enikő Földházi | Photo: Photos by the author |  08:06 November 19, 2021

Soldiers of the Headquarters Multinational Division – Centre (HQ MND-C) held a silent commemoration ceremony for the victims of the war and the events in Vukovar and Škabrnja at the Holy Spirit Military Cemetery in Székesfehérvár on Thursday, 18 November.

2021_11_18 Commemoration Homeland War (4)

Thirty years ago, on 18 November, 1991, after three months of siege, the almost completely destroyed Vukovar was occupied by attacking Yugoslav People’s Army and Serbian rebels. On the same day, about 300 kilometres south-west of Vukovar, 63 civilians, mostly of Croatian nationality, were killed in a massacre in the small village of Škabrnja. These two tragic events marked November 18 as the saddest moment of recent Croatian history. The tragedies in Vukovar and Škabrnja have become symbols of suffering and will forever remind future generations of the victims who gave their lives for a free and independent Croatia.

Since last year, 18 November was declared in Croatia as the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Croatian Homeland War and the Siege of Vukovar and the Massacre in Škabrnja.

2021_11_18 Commemoration Homeland War (16)

In connection with the anniversary, similarly to last year, the Croatian personnel of Székesfehérvár-based HQ MND-C laid a commemorative wreath at the memorial to the fallen heroes of the wars in the Holy Spirit Military Cemetery. Mladen Andrlić PhD, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia also participated in the ceremony. On behalf of the Hungarian and Slovak contingents of the headquarters, Brigadier General Ernő Siposs, Deputy Commander, and Colonel Erich Hrehus, Deputy Chief of Staff, placed the wreaths. Representatives of the HDF 43rd Nagysándor József Signal and Command Support Regiment, the NATO Force Support Element Hungary (NFIU HUN) and NATO’s Deployable Communication Modul (DCM) also paid tribute to the victims. After the wreath-laying ceremony, the soldiers, together with the Croatian Nationality Government of Székesfehérvár, took part in a Croatian-language memorial mass at the St. Imre Church in downtown Székesfehérvár.