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In Memory of White Armband Day
Morning May 31, 1992. I still can smell the ashes mixed with spring in the air of burned Prijedor. On the radio news, the authorities in Prijedor, ordered all non-Serbs to mark their houses with white flags or sheets, and to wear a white armband when they leave their houses.
I remembered High school and history of the Second World War, Jews and yellow stars on their sleeves. Didn’t people learn any lessons from the last war, that war never brings anyone any good?. But looks like hatred of others was higher than history of the past.
I went to the Merhamet for some food. I put a white ribbon and start walking through my Mahala to the main road, when someone calls me by name. In me, everything died. He came running up to me took my hand and pull off my white band. He told me, don’t you ever put this on your hand again. The order this to recognize you easily and take you to the camps.
He said: it was easy in the villages because they know which village belongs to whom, but in the city we are all mixed together, so they are having difficult time to find you.
And besides, you’re Prijedocanka, be proud of it, and whatever happens to us remember one thing this is our City and our home.
In the center of the city is hell, a couple of Serbian soldiers are beating a guy on the street near the cinema Mrakovica.
There were yelling at him: Where’s your white band Balijo (nick name from Serbs for Muslims people). I quickly crossed the road in tears and start walking back home. I tried to see who was this poor guy, but his face was all bloody, and I couldn’t recognize him.
The day’s pass, along with the months and years, but memories of those days remain fresh like that was yesterday. Friendship has disappeared in the night, and hate of bloodshed came with the morning. The question is: Did we have learned anything after all this?
Are we going to allow evil to ravage our land again? How to fix what is missing in our midst?
For start, we need to stop hating each other, just because we have other religions and cultures dose not mean we can’t share them between us. Let’s start to build what was destroyed between us.
I know it’s hard, believe me, this is not easy, especially to us who have lost family and passed through the camps and torture, but life goes on. Do not let our children live in our past. They need to learn what happened in our Bosnia and Herzegovina to stop this evil off ever happening again. We all know one thing that they maybe can divide Bosnia and Herzegovina by canton names but they will never divide her as a Country. Bosnia and Hercegovina is a mother of all our nationalities. She was such like that from the beginning and will be until the end.
Alma Clausen
Secretary of Institute for Research of Genocide Canada
Sjecanje na Dan Bjelih Traka- Prijedor 31 Maj, 1992
Jutro 31 Maj, 1992. Jos uvjek se osjeti miris pepela pomjesan sa proljetnim zrakom popalitog Prijedora. Na radiju vijesti, svi nesrpski stanovnici grada Prijedora moraju da stave platu ili bjeli peskir na prozor od stana ili kuce a po izlazku iz kuce obavezno moraju da stave bijelu traku na ruku. Pri legitimisanju, ako nebudu imali bjelu traku na ruci bice privedeni.
Sjeti se osnovne skole I Historije iz drugog svjetskog rata, Jevreja I zutih zvijezda na njihovim rukavima. Zar narod nije naucio neku lekciju iz proslog rata? Da rat nije nikad donio nikom dobro, ali izgleda mrznja medzu nekima je bila veca nego Historija iz proslosti.
Posla sam u Merhamet po pomoc , stavila sam bijelu traku i krenula sa Bozijom pomoci. Prosla kroz svoju mahalu do glavne ceste , kad neko me zove po imenu. Umarla sam , dotrca do mene uhvati me za ruku i strgnu mi bjelu traku. Rece: da vise ovo nikad nisi stavila na ruku, ovo su naredili da bi mogli lakse vas pokupiti.
Rekao je : bilo je lako po selima jer se znalo koje selo kome pripada ali po gradu svi su izmjesani pa im je teze da vas uklonu.
A u ostalom ti si Prijedorcanka i budi ponosna na to pa kako god da nam bude, jer ovo je nas grad.
U carsiji haus, par vojnika tucu momka na ulici kod kina Mrakovice.
Vicu gdje ti je traka balijo. Presla sam brzo cestu u suzama i posla nazad kuci. Pokusala sam da vidim u prolazu ko je taj momak ali lice mu je bilo iskrvarito da nisam ga mogla prepoznati.
Dani prolaze, zajedno sa mjesecima i godinama ali sjecanja na te dane ostaju svjeza kao da su od juce. Prijateljstvo je nestalo u noci, a mrznja i krvoprolice doslo sa jutrom. Pitanje je, dali smo ista naucili poslije ovog svega? Dali cemo dopustiti opet zlu da nam hara nasim dunalukom?
Kako da popravimo ono sto je nestalo medzu nama?
Za pocetak,treba da prestenemo da mrzimo jedne druge samo zato sto smo druge religije i obicaja. Da pocnemo da gradimo ono sto je poruseno izmedzu nas.
Znam tesko je,vjerute nije lako , pogotovo nama kojimo smo izgubili familije i prosli kroz logore i torture, ali zivot ide dalje. Ne dozvolimo da nasa djeca zive u nasoj proslosti. Traba ih nauciti sa je bilo u nasoj Bosni I Hercegovini da nedozvole da se to zlo ikad vise ponovi.
Bosna I Hercevona je jedna majka svih naroda. Bila je takva od postanka I bice do kraja. Rascjepiti je mozete po imenima ali kao zemlju nikada.