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MODRIČA, OCTOBER 16 /SRNA/ - Posthumous medals were presented to the families of 17 fallen soldiers of the Republika Srpska Army /VRS/ in Modriča and Šamac today, who were posthumously awarded with the Medal of Merit for the People by Serbian President Željka Cvijanović.


The medals were presented by the envoy of the Republika Srpska president Milorad Kojić who said that under the Srpska president’s decree, 13 soldiers from Modriča and 4 from Šamac were posthumously awarded at the initiative of the Republika Srpska Organisation of families of captured and killed soldiers and missing civilians.

"By awarding the medals, the president of Republika Srpska expresses her sincere and immeasurable gratitude to all fallen soldiers, but also to the families of the fallen heroes," Kojić said, recalling that the families of 1,870 fallen and missing soldiers have been awarded the medal since 2012 in Srpska.

Kojić said that the awarding of posthumous medals to the families of soldiers fallen for Republika Srpska would continue.

The medals were presented to Stana Đurić for her fallen husband, Đoko from Crkvina near Šamac. "The medal means a lot to me and I am glad my husband has not been forgotten," Stana said.

Đurđija and Aleksa Stajić from Zelinje near Modriča, the parents of a VRS soldier Ilija /aged 23/ who went missing on September 10, 1995 in Vozuća near Zavidovići, say the medal cannot replace their son, but it can alleviate the sadness over a missing child.

"If we found at least a single bone to bury, it would be easier for us than this, when we do not know where Ilija was killed, nor is there a grave where we would have lit candles for him," Đurđija said.

She stated that Ilja left a son behind, who was 11 months old at the time.

Modriča Mayor Mladen Krekić said that no medals were presented to the families of the 22 fallen soldiers of the area.

Head of the Republika Srpska Organisation of families of captured and killed veterans and missing civilians Veljko Lazić expects the families of all fallen and missing veterans to be awarded posthumous medals next year.

The fallen soldiers were posthumously awarded on the occasion of Vidovdan/St Vitus Day - the patron saint day of the Republika Srpska Army /VRS/ and September 15 - the Day of the Missing and Fallen in the Defensive-Patriotic War. /end/vos