World Bulletin / News Desk
Celebrations were held across Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday to mark Statehood Day amid a public holiday – while the Serbs shunned the occasion.
Many people celebrated in squares, streets and neighborhoods which had been decorated with the national flags in the capital, Sarajevo.
The celebrations began with the erecting of a massive Bosnian flag at the Hum Hill in Sarajevo.
Bakir Izetbegovic, member of the Presidency of Bosnia, Denis Zvizdic, chairman of the council of ministers, Abdulah Skaka, mayor of Sarajevo, and many others attended the ceremony while Serb and Croat officials were absent.
The second part of the celebrations was titled ‘Eternal Flame’ -- a memorial service held to mark the military and civilian victims of the Second World War in Sarajevo.
Tripartite Bosnian Presidency member Bakir Izetbegovic said in a statement that Statehood Day was one of the most important days in the history of the country.
"Fascism is showing its face everywhere. In order to have peace and to build good relations with our neighbors and to fight against evil and fascism, we must accept the fact that it exists. We should keep two principles in mind -- peace and the fight against fascism," said Izetbegovic.
Izetbegovic later on laid wreaths at Kovaci memorial cemetery for those who lost their lives during the defense of Bosnia in 1992 and 1995.
Government officials also laid wreaths at the Memorial for Children Killed during Siege to commemorate the children killed during the Bosnian War.
High-ranking international and local officials will attend a reception ceremony at the Presidency Building, from which Serb and Croat officials are expected to be absent.
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