World Bulletin / News Desk
Thousands of people are beginning to gather at a memorial center and cemetery in Potocari, eastern Bosnia, to mark the 22nd anniversary of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide.
The memorial center -- just north of Srebrenica -- is the focal point of remembrance for a large number of friends and relatives of the more than 8,000 people, mostly men and boys, murdered by Bosnian Serb militias.
Among this year's guests will be Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Numan Kurtulmus plus Serbian politicians Cedomir Jovanovic and Sasa Jankovic.
Seventy-one recently identified victims were buried in a collective funeral. Tears and silence accompanied the scene as the green coffins were lined up side-by-side.
There were emotional scenes as relatives of the victims prepared to bid their last farewells to their beloved ones.
Mothers, wives, sisters and other relatives, with tears in their eyes, opened their hands in prayer, touching the flower-laden coffins.
Amid intense suffering, many were burying their loved ones after long years of waiting for their remains to be located and identified.
Meanwhile, relatives of previously buried victims were also gathering at the memorial to visit graves, to pray and to console the others.
"Never Forget" -- a slogan born out of the Srebrenica genocide -- could be read everywhere, the words borne on people's clothes, vehicles and displayed on posters.
The youngest victim among the 71 dead to be buried on Tuesday is Damir Suljic, a 15-year-old boy. Suljic was buried next to his father (buried in 2009), his grandfather and uncle.