- Sep 23, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
My most honest, sincere, deepest sympathies and sorrows for the people of Bosnia. YOu will always be in my memories for all my life. I hope that somehow, some kind of justice and learning can come from such a terrible genocide. Bosnia, will always be in my heart. I will always look forward, but I will never forget and I will pass on lessons learned. Here is to Bosnia's and the world's disappeared and vanished people. Here is also to seeking out true and ever lasting justice:
Blood Drive Aims to ID Bosnia War Victims By CHERYL WITTENAUER, Associated Press Writer
Sat Dec 10, 3:48 AM ET
ST. LOUIS - Sevko and Vahida Bektic haven't seen their fathers since the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, the worst slaughter of civilians in Europe since World War II.
The couple, Bosnian refugees who resettled in St. Louis seven years ago, presume their fathers are dead. But how and where they died remain a mystery and source of pain.
"I want to know what happened," said Vahida Bektic, her face red with tears. "I want to bring the body back so my children know their grandfather."
The Bektics took a step toward getting answers Friday by offering drops of blood for DNA testing in a bid to identify some of the thousands of remains from the war that tore apart the former Yugoslavia.
Hundreds of the 40,000 Bosnian refugees who have settled in St. Louis since the 1990s are expected to do the same in a blood-collection drive that runs through Monday. It's one of a dozen U.S. cities with large numbers of Bosnian refugees to hold the campaign.
The campaign is being conducted by the International Commission on Missing Persons, founded a decade ago to find Bosnia's mass graves.
As authorities exhumed the graves, filling hospital morgues with remains, it became clear that it would not be possible to identify them by traditional means, such as dental records or clothing, because they were too decomposed, said commission spokeswoman Doune Porter, speaking by telephone from Sarajevo.
Porter said the process is important for families who "live every day in agony, over the uncertainty of the fate of the missing person."
For the Bektics, being able to bury their fathers' remains if DNA matches are made would be a way to finally say goodbye.
Vahida Bektic's father and brother, along with thousands of other Bosnian men, tried to escape Srebrenica to the free zone through the forest in July 1995. Her brother escaped, but her father never emerged.
Sevko Bektic tried to persuade his father to flee with him to Macedonia, but his father hesitated, perhaps fearful he would be killed in flight. The son traveled without his father, and now feels guilty for having survived. He still has questions.
"Why did they kill everybody?" he asked. "Why are so many gone?"