ZAGREB, Nov 1 (Hina) – Many residents of Vukovar have been visiting the eastern city’s cemeteries since morning on Sunday on the occasion of All Saints’ Day, lighting candles and laying flowers, especially the Homeland War Victims Memorial Cemetery.
Buried at the Memorial Cemetery, according to available data, are 423 defenders, two war veterans, 163 disabled veterans, 57 members of their families, and 310 civilians killed in the military aggression on Vukovar in 1991.
Many people are lighting candles and laying wreaths also at the 938 white marble crosses near the cemetery’s central monument which symbolises the victims exhumed from a mass grave at the cemetery in 1998.
Residents and members of victims’ and veterans’ families are also visiting the Ovcara mass grave, where the remains of 200 defenders and civilians were exhumed in 1996. After the fall of Vukovar, they were taken from the city hospital to the Ovcara farm, 5 km away, and executed on 20 November 1991.
Many Vukovar residents are also visiting the recently rebuilt Water Tower, a symbol of the city’s defence in 1991 as well as a reminder of the suffering of the city and its people but also of the victory in the Homeland War.
The Feast of All Saints, or All Saints’ Day, is observed annually on 1 November. The day is a national holiday in Croatia.
All Saints’ Day, on its current date, is traced to the foundation by Pope Gregory III (731–741) of an oratory in St. Peter’s for the relics “of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs and confessors, of all the just made perfect who are at rest throughout the world”.