Bosnians Bury 520 Killed in 1995 Massacre
The pain that erupted 17 years ago in Srebrenica ripped open again Wednesday as tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims came to bury their dead in the town whose name is now synonymous with genocide.
In a ceremony broadcast live on television across the country, 520 coffins were placed in the ground as tears flowed like water from family and friends.
On the anniversary of Europe’s worst massacre since World War II, 30,000 Muslims traveled to a memorial center in Srebrenica to honor the thousands of Muslim men and boys slaughtered in July 1995 by Serb forces.
Izabela Hasanovic, 27, sobbed over one of the coffins before it was lowered into a freshly dug pit.
“My father, my father is here,” she sobbed. “I cannot believe that my father is in this coffin. I cannot accept it!”
Another woman dropped on her knees next to a coffin, pressing her lips against the green cloth covering the wood.
“It’s your sister kissing you. It’s me,” she whispered, caressing the coffin with both hands until others lowered it.
Then the valley echoed with the sound of dirt landing on the coffins from thousands of shovels, as a voice read out the names of the victims and their ages from loudspeakers.