It's midway through August already. Which means that amidst the household chaos and general mayhem I didn't blog about an important anniversary.
In the middle of July 1995, some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) men and boys from Srebrenica were killed by the Bosnian Serb army led by Gen. Ratko Mladic. The men were separated from the women, put onto buses and then drived to throughout the Drina Valley and executed in cold blood. Some men, fearing the worst, tried to make a run for it, through Serb territory but few made it to Bosniak territory before being slaughtered.
What is really hitting me hard about the anniversary this year is that it feels as if it is starting to pass into history. 16 years is a long time. So much has happened in the world since then. Wars in Iraq and Afganistan, not to mention civil conflicts not unlike that that Bosnia endured in Libya and possibly other middle eastern countries. Suddenly Srebrenica feels like a long time ago. Even the arrest of Mladic this year only served to make it feel as if it was from another era. One that is now closing.
But for the women who lost fathers, sons and husbands those terrible days in July 1995, it isn't history. It is their lives that they continue to live every day without their families.
Take a moment to remember Srebrenica. How much it is still a part of our lives. What fades from newsprint, overshadowed by other more recent atrocities, does not move into the realms of history. Not yet. Not when it is still so real for so many people.