Croats all over Croatia, and around the world will today celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Victory & Homeland Thanksgiving Day, and War Veteran’s Day.
Celebrations on Saturday are being held to commemorate the military victory on 5 August 1995, known as Operation Storm, when the Croatian army took over a self-proclaimed Serb entity in Croatia. Operation Storm began at 5 am on 4 August 1995 and in just 84 hours 10,500 square kilometers had been liberated by the 200,000 Croatian soldiers who took part in the operation.
A huge Croatian flag was erected on the Knin fortress at 12:00 pm on 5 August. 174 Croatian soldiers lost their lives in the operation. On 7 August it was announced that the operation was complete.
Thousands will gather today in the town of Knin where the focus the celebrations will be.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic had this message for the Croatian people.
“The fifth of August 1995 is one of the most important days in Croatia’s history, the day when we crowned our centuries-old struggle for national freedom and state independence with a brilliant military victory under the leadership of our first President, Dr. Franjo Tuđman, thus confirming our international position and ensuring our society’s democratic development. This great day fills us with pride and also obliges us to persevere in building a state where each and every one of our citizens will fully realize their life aspirations and contribute to the public welfare.
We face a major task of economic, demographic and moral renewal of our society. I believe that we have the strength, determination, and know-how and that in the spirit of Homeland unity we will succeed in this task as we have done in the liberation of our one and only dear Croatia.
I extend cordial and proud congratulations on Victory and Homeland Gratitude Day and Croatian Defenders Day to all Croatian citizens at home and abroad, especially to all Croatian defenders and participants of the Operation “Storm,” President Grabar-Kitarovic said ahead of the 22nd anniversary.