The Serbian Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik pointed out that June 16 is a symbol of resistance, defense and the suffering of the Serbian people in the territory of the Sarajevo-Romanija region in the previous Homeland-Defensive War.

“We cannot only talk about the defense of the Sarajevo-Romanija region on June 16, because that would be a sin. The monumental sacrifice will not allow us to forget the heroism and the bravery of the Serbian people from the territory of this region, who went through big and heavy military actions on a daily bases, and despite everything, they persevered and defended their ancestral homes and their territory,” emphasized Dodik in a statement to Srna on the occasion of June 16 — Day of Defense of the Sarajevo-Romanija Region.

Dodik said that during the key moments for the preservation of the Republic of Srpska, the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the Army of the Republic of Srpska was the bearer of defense and resistance, whose members had resisted a far larger enemy trying to enter the Serbian territory throughout the entire war and split it in half.

The fact that 4,210 fighters of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the Army of the Republic of Srpska who had laid down their lives for freedom and for the Republic of Srpska are commemorated on June 16 speaks to the significance and importance of this date in modern Serbian history, said Dodik.

“Those brave people, Serbian fighters and patriots, successfully fought back 35 enemy offensives. Thanks to their sacrifice, we have peace and freedom today, we have our city of East Sarajevo which has become a new home for the Sarajevo Serbs, and our Republic of Srpska, which is under constant attack to this day,” stressed Dodik.

The Serbian Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina said that the Serbian people cannot proudly and freely tread toward their future if they do not respect their past, which he reminds and cautions them about almost every day of the year.

“Forgetting the heroic Sarajevo-Romanija epic would mean renouncing the past. Celebrating such significant dates not only preserves the memory of those fallen, but also does not allow another crime against them — forgetting their sacrifice and allowing revisionism to win.

The historical facts are evident at the Mali Zejtinlik Military Cemetery and the Memorial Church of St. George the Great Martyr in Ravna Romanija, which was built as a symbol of the resistance in this territory and whose walls bear inscriptions with the names of the 4,210 fighters killed while defending this region. Let them stand to us all as a constant reminder of their sacrifice and heroism, as well as a warning that we can never let them be forgotten for the sake of future generations,” said Dodik.