1 March – Bosnia and Herzegovina Independence Day

Back in 1992, citizens of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for independece from Yugoslavia at the referendum held on February 29/March 1, 1992.

Two thirds of the population voted for independent Bosnia and Herzegovina following the tense political developments that had made Slovenia and Croatia find their own way out of the Serb-dominated Yugoslavia.

The late presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia, Alija Izetbegović and Kiro Gligorov, did their utmost to preserve Yugoslavia as a union of independent nations, but those efforts proved futile in the face of increasing aspirations from other Yugoslav republics who refused to consider any option that would include the former Yugoslav republics living in one state.

Bosnia and Herzegovina chose its own path to independence becasue being a melting pot of Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats as consitutent nations, any other option would mean creating disbalance in favor of either Serbia or Croatia.

Nowadays, Independence Day is observed in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zenica in particular, as a day when people of Bosnia and Herzegovina broke from the former state to choose their own path to freedom that was paid with so many lives of innocent people.

On this day we pay respect to tens of thousands of victims of the aggression on Bosnia and Herzegovina and try to learn some lessons from our turbulent history.