The past two days have been so moving and educational. We spent our time in Tuzla and the ICMP and the Institute for Missing Persons, and we were accompanied by Hassan, a friend of Ann’s who is the curator of the Srebrenicia memorial. After spending time in Tuzla, we traveled to Srebenicia. All along the way Hassan shared stories of the war, and his experience. We visited the war memorial, and heard so many stories of the things that happened to everyone. The whole time I was hearing all of these stories, I kept having to remind myself that all of these things happened not so long ago. In fact, they happened during my lifetime. The Srebenicia genocide happened during the summer between my 2nd and 3rd grade. I was thinking about all of the people that were killed, and wondering what I doing while each person was killed. I was so young when all of this was happening, but I feel bad for not knowing that this was happening, while I was living my life with my family.
Hearing the stories from Hassan and Saliha, being in Srebenicia and walking to road that so many people walked to Potocari to the UN base made it easier to imagine how things may have been with the large amount of people and animals running for their lives while the Serbian army was coming into the other side of their town, pushing them to Potocari. I can’t imagine living each day with the memories that Hassan and Saliha have to live with everyday. How does Hassan get through each day with the terrifying experiences that he’s had? How does he manage to sleep at night? How does anyone in this country sleep at night? Everyone in the country was affected by this war, and I have never experienced anything like this. How can anyone in this country sleep at night with the things that they have experienced? They all go about their normal everyday lives with these intense stories that they are walking around with, that someone can’t see just by looking at them. Hopefully this trip will help me bring some of these stories to life, and share them with people that I come into contact with.