While on a walking tour of the city, we came across my first Sarajevo Rose. These spots mark where an individual died from a mortar attack during the Siege of Sarajevo – the scar in the pavement later filled with red resin producing a psuedo-floral arrangement.
As our tour guide described the meaning behind these markings, I was reminded of the sobering fact that someone died in this spot. An unsettling feeling to sit in. This city is so beautiful as many of classmates have described that it is sometimes hard to imagine what occurred here. To fully comprehend the war in this city. Photos, readings, videos can only provide so much context. But actually seeing a Sarajevo Rose, seeing the nearby hills where the mortar may have been launched from. These things provide a greater realization to me.
Currently the Sarajevo Roses are slowly disappearing as roads are repaved, and in a way I hope that there is some symbolism in this process as relationships are relaid and repaired as well. Over the next 8 weeks I hope that I continue to learn – the past, the present, the subtle reminders of what happened, the not so subtle. And above all else, I hope to better understand the multitude of relationships that have shaped this area.
So zdravo Sarajevo, i idemo.