A Dozen Years After the War
Reading Richard Holbrooke’s account of the negotiations to bring peace to the former Yugoslavia (“To End A War,” Random House, 1998), I was struck by his description of the Bosnian town of Mostar.
In 1995, it was a scene of great strife between the Bosnians and the Croats; two sides both embattled against the Serbs. Holbrooke describes the famous bridge at Mostar destroyed, with guards glaring at each other from the Muslim and Croat sides of the river. He described a city of “rubble and tension.”
I was there last week. Only a dozen years have passed, but the tension is gone. The ancient bridge has been reconstructed.
Still, walls are riddled with bullet holes while others show the scars of rocket-propelled grenades.
I loved Mostar. Reading of its recent sectarian violence is painful. But I’m thankful that those days are behind the city and its multi-ethnic population.