“And you need not worry about the city, the city was always within you. Only hidden. So that the executioner cannot find it. The City — you are The City.”
The immortal words of Sinisa Glavasevic still echo in our minds. Reporter, hero, voice of bleeding Vukovar and a voice of reason when there was no reason in sight. Twenty years have gone by, but somehow whenever November approaches it still feels like it is 1991. Raw emotion that never fades. Sharp images engraved in the memory. Sadness. Disbelief.
This is the time of year when apologies don’t mean anything to anyone because true responsibility for the crime was never taken. Even if it was, would it make any difference? Politicians shaking hands over the graves is just a carefully constructed photo op that doesn’t in any way reflect the true state of the situation. Words of so-called remorse don’t sound believable when those who are saying them are also trying really hard to rewrite history.
All of a sudden, the fundamental truth of this nation is being thoroughly revised and a new one is being implemented. What are we going to tell our children when they ask us which truth is the truth? How are we going to defend what we saw and experienced if one day heavy campaigns overpower “our” truth?
Glavasevic’s posthumous collection “Stories from Vukovar” is slowly becoming the only reliable and valid textbook for future generations. The brave words of Glavasevic will always be here to remind us of what was done.
More importantly, his words remind us of what could have been done to save the city. Some people would like to forget those words, people who are still sitting in the government and parliament. On Friday, Nov. 18, they will put their best suits on and march to Vukovar to show off their pride, just like they do every year.
“Who will take care of my city, my friends, who will lead Vukovar out of the darkness? No back is sturdier than mine and yours, and so, if it is not too much of a burden, if you still have some youthful murmur left in you, join us.”
The only way we can take care of The City is to keep the memory alive.
Let us never forget.
The article was originally written in English.
Photo Credit: STEFAN ZSAITSITS
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