On 6 November 2018, within the scope of activities marking the 43rd anniversary of the University of Banja Luka, a commemoration service was held in front of the memorial tablet dedicated to the students and members of staff who were killed during the 1992-1995 civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In his address, which followed the service, Prof. Radoslav Gajanin, PhD, Rector of the University of Banja Luka, pointed out the fact that our 87 colleagues, who gave their lives for the Republic of Srpska, would forever live in our memory.
‘They would have made great scientists and experts in many fields, I have no doubt about it. Unfortunately, they were taken away from us before they graduated’, said Prof. Gajanin, stressing out how tragic this event was not only for the city of Banja Luka itself, but for the whole of the Republic of Srpska.
‘I would like to pay my deep respect and express gratitude to our fallen colleagues, who demonstrated exceptional courage, bravery, and sacrifice in defending the interests of the Serbian people and the Republic of Srpska. They joined the ranks of the Army of the Republic of Srpska and, like many others, did not live to see the days of peace once again, but their patriotic stance and chivalry during harsh times for the Serbian people oblige us and serve as a moral code in the days to come’, added Prof. Gajanin.
Prof. Gajanin, accompanied by Vice-Rectors, laid a wreath at the memorial, with wreaths having been also laid by Prof. Zeljko Mirjanic and Prof. Goran Trbic, Deans of the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Sciences respectively, on behalf of the management of all organisational units of the University.
On behalf of the Steering Board of the University, reverence to the casualties was paid by Prof. Rajko Gnjato, PhD, and Prof. Igor Milunovic, PhD.
The casualties were also commemorated by the representatives of students’ organisations, as well as by the representatives of the Veterans’ Associations of the Republic of Srpska and City of Banja Luka, Mr Dusko Miletic, who addressed the present, and Mr Goran Rogic respectively.
On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Srpska, wreaths were laid by Mr Milenko Savanovic, Minister of Labour and Veterans, and Ms Radmila Pejic, PhD, Assistant Minister for Higher Education.
Upon the ceremony, Mr Savanovic said that we were now commemorating young people who had made themselves immortal by becoming a part of something historic – the Republic of Srpska, and that we should be proud of them. He also reminded the present of the war path of Students’ Brigade, stating that it had been formed on 4 November 1994, that 2,104 troops had served in it, and that it had been deployed at the theatre around the town of Bihac in the west of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mr Savanovic added that a loving memory of these young people must be kept, since it was a bequeath to future generations to preserve the Republic of Srpska, for whom so many lives had been laid.
Mr Vojin Calic, father of one of the casualties commemorated, said that each such event was equally painful for him, saying that ‘he had lost son one could only wish for’.
Prior to the memorial ceremony, Prof. Gajanin and Prof. Mirjanic organised a meeting with members of families of fallen colleagues.