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Memorial in Mostar to Hungarian Soldiers

Szöveg: Col. Tibor Papp |  2012. március 27. 9:13

During the war in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995, the Old Bridge in Mostar, a gem of the town in Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1566, became a symbol of senseless destruction. Due to continuous artillery bombardment, the bridge – which had been built from 456 pieces of limestone over nine years – collapsed into the River Neretva on November 11, 1993.

Several countries and international organizations joined the project aimed at restoring the bridge, among them the NATO-led peacekeeping force SFOR and the Hungarian Engineer Contingent (HEC) within it. The HEC played an important role in the reconstruction works between August 1997 and December 1999 by lifting the elements of the bridge out of the river. The inauguration of the reconstructed bridge took place on July 23, 2004. Until the present day, the local people fondly remember the dedicated work done by the Hungarian troops.

During his visit to Sarajevo in 2010, Defence Minister Csaba Hende reached an agreement on putting up a memorial plaque to commemorate the Hungarian soldiers’ work in the reconstruction of the Mostar Old Bridge. Brig.-Gen. Zoltán Gulyás, the former Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff at the EUFOR HQ in Sarajevo regarded it an important task to implement the agreement on the memorial plaque. Having discussed the issue with the mayor of Mostar, based on the recommendation of the municipal leadership, the plaque will be put up in the park of the Mayor’s Office that is currently undergoing renovation. The trilingual inscription on the memorial commemorates the Hungarian troops who participated in the reconstruction of the Old Bridge in Bosnian, Hungarian and English.

The official unveiling ceremony of the memorial will take place in this spring.