Today, Vukovar honours those defenders and civilians who lost their lives, as well as those still missing, during the fall of the city 30 years ago.
Tens of thousands of people gathered on Thursday in the city and joined the commemorative Vukovar remembrance procession. The procession went through the streets of Vukovar as those in it expressed gratitude to Croatian defenders and people who suffered during the Homeland War.
Many participants wrapped themselves in the Croatian flag as well as flags of wartime military units as they made the walk to the memorial cemetery.
“The Vukovar procession has never been longer. The beginning is already at the water tower, and the end has just moved away from the hospital. The procession is about three kilometres long,” said a member of the procession, which included the prime minister and a number of public figures.
Croatia is marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of Vukovar, the most dramatic battle of the Homeland War. During the 87-day siege of Vukovar by the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) between August and November 1991, 2,171 people were killed, including 34 children aged between 7 months and 17 years old, 1,219 were wounded, and more than 350 Croatian soldiers unaccounted for.
More than 22,000 Croats and other non-Serbs were also expelled from the city. Vukovar was defended by around 1,800 lightly armed soldiers of the Croatian National Guard and civilian volunteers, against 36,000 JNA soldiers. On 18 November, the last defenders in Vukovar’s town centre surrendered.