More than 400 Srebrenica massacre victims are being honored with proper burial. The victims were killed in one of the worst massacres in history. Over 8,000 Muslims were executed by Serbian forces in July 1995.
As reported by ABC News, the 409 victims honored today were recovered from a mass grave. The remains were eventually identified through genetic testing, allowing for closure and a proper burial. The 409 victims include one newborn baby and 44 teenage boys.
Nearly 6,000 people joined the funeral march, which followed a 48 mile path. The route was the same one used by victims attempting to flee the genocide.
The friends and family ended their journey at a special cemetery built to honor the Srebrenica massacre victims. Coffins, which were draped with green cloth, awaited the mourners.
For many, the ceremony was bittersweet. However, most were thankful that their loved ones were located and identified for proper burial.
As reported by Fox News, in 1995 Srebrenica was under the protection of the United Nations. On July 11, 1995 Bosnian Serb forces breached the safe-zone, slaughtering over 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
A majority of the victims were forced into trucks and transported to another location where they were executed and thrown into mass graves.
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was eventually charged with genocide for ordering the massacre. A total of 38 officials were identified and convicted for their involvement.
Over the last 18 years, thousands of bodies were exhumed for identification and burial. More than 5,500 victims have been identified and buried to date. The remains of over 2,000 victims remain missing or unidentified.
Munira Subasic will bury her son today. The remains of her husband are still missing. Subasic discusses the tragedy:
“Eighteen years later, I have found only two bones belonging to my son… But I decided to bury him as I do not have another life to wait for the remains of my son to be found.”
Zumra Krdzic, who is also present at the memorial, lost her son, husband, and numerous other relatives. She explains that “A book would not be enough to list the names of everyone [she has] lost.”
On the anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, 409 more victims will be laid to rest. As the recovery efforts move forward, family and friends continue to mourn the devastating loss.