Fifty years ago the people from Garevac were not allowed to mark the graves of the killed villagers. In 1992 they were allowed a few months for paying respect to their dead. In spite of the fact that they were under unceasing fire, to me they almost seemed happy.

I met Father Andrija Zirdum in the Plehan monastery, which was centuries-old, but entirely demolished in 1992. There was no hospital, so they set up one in Tolisa. The Bosnian Sava Region was one of the regions where all Three Crosses had been put down for decades.

Still, the Croats there had never stopped building their Home, although they had been expelled from it and have gone to Croatia, Germany, Canada .... Every house had a flower garden. They seemed to be determined to renew their demolished homes over and over again.

Msgr. Puljić invited us to attend the masses in Derventa and Plehan. I arrived accompanied by Father Andrija Zirdum and the president of the Red Cross of Slavonski Brod, but we were not allowed into Plehan. A group of seven Serbs started throwing stones at us. I approached them and asked :”Why are you throwing stones at me?” Four of them had lost their sons and none of them were certain of their future. Father forgive them for they know not what they do !

On our way back in an occupied Croatian village near Svilaj I saw a chapel. Inside I found a statue of Christ with His head severed and a large wooden statue of St. Anthony with the Christ Child. Their heads had been severed too. It was the first Christ child after Osijek and the first St. Anthony after Mostar. All three of them , Wounded Christ, St. Anthony and the Christ Child endured and remained here . Croatian home in the Bosnian Sava Region will be renewed too.

To Endure and To Renew