ZAGREB, Oct 16 (Hina) – Wreath-laying ceremonies and other commemorative events were held in Vukovar on Friday to mark the 29th anniversary of the death of Major General Blago Zadro, who was killed while defending this eastern Croatian city against the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) and local Serb paramilitaries.
After today’s ceremonies, War Veterans’ Minister Tomo Medved said that the way of living and ideals promoted by Major General Blago Zadro and how he had seen Croatia could also be applied today.
“It is very important to promote the truth about the generations and people such as Major General Blago Zadro,” Medved said, praising Zadro for his patriotism.
Defence Minister Mario Banozic said that the readiness of Blago Zadro to take over responsibility and organise the defence of Vukovar should be the guiding principle for the present-day generation.
Banozic said that the struggle that was necessary for the establishment of the sovereign Croatian state motivated all in the current government to do their job well and honourably.
Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlic Radman said that this anniversary incited mixed emotions: sadness for the lives lost in the Homeland War and pride over the success in establishing independent Croatia.
Blago Zadro, born in 1944 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is celebrated as one of the greatest heroes of the 1991-1995 Homeland War. Zadro became active in political life during Croatia’s first democratic election in 1990 and founded a branch of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) in Vukovar. Immediately at the start of the aggression in eastern Croatia, Zadro and his two sons were engaged in the defence of the city. He was killed in an attack by Serb forces on October 16, 1991, in Vukovar’s neighbourhood of Borovo Naselje, where he commanded defence forces.
His remains were exhumed in 1998 from a mass grave at a Vukovar cemetery, together with the remains of 937 other victims. He was then buried in the city’s Memorial Cemetery. The first Croatian president, Franjo Tudjman, promoted him posthumously to the rank of Major General.