Croatia celebrates Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day, and War Veteran’s Day today (Monday), commemorating the military victory on 5 August 1995, known as Operation Storm, when the Croatian army took over a self-proclaimed Serb entity in Croatia.
Today’s main celebrations will focus on the town of Knin, the former capital of the self-proclaimed independent entity. Thousands have already begun turning up, including top ranking army and political officials, the President and acquitted Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac for official celebrations.
“Let us do everything to be worthy of the victims and what they did, and build a Croatia how the (Croatian defenders) dreamed of. A better Croatia,” was Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic’s message of celebrations on Monday.
Operation Storm began at 5am on 4 August 1995 and in just 84 hours 10,500 square kilometres 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 12:00pm on 5 August. 174 Croatian soldiers lost thier lives in the operation. On 7 August it was announced that the operation was complete.