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Farewell letter from Jovan Divjak

Dear friends,

Thank you for coming to send me “to a better world” as it is said in the tradition of one nation. To me, this one was very pleasant, happy and rich. I know she broke you, broke your grief over parting, as it did me as I write this. I attended hundreds of funerals and funerals where selected people spoke all the best about the deceased, “all the best about the deceased” as is the custom among the people. I think it is natural for me, Jovan Divjak, to talk about myself, and some of my close friends will read it, who will be courageous to read my address emotionally without a single tear.

At funerals, the conversion began – he was a good man. Well, you know what I was like here. Both this and that, but I’m sure I was a moral, honest, human being in the best sense of the word. Of course, and modest. That is how I was raised in the family of my mother Emilia and father Dušan. That’s how my wife Vera and I raised Zelimir and Vladimir. I reached the peak of my life in the statement of my grandson Gregor, who wrote – Grandpa, I am proud of you.

I was born in a Belgrade hospital in 1937, and my life with my parents took me from the village of Šuvajići on the Danube bank before Smederevo to the village of Jablanica (Bosanska Krupa), where my father was a teacher and my sister Nada in 1940.

My father served in Romania (Rumski Banat) 1941 – 1944, in Bela Crkva and Bosnian Krajina – where I started primary school! I finished high school and high school in Zrenjanin in 1950-1959. Mother of courage, she divorced and had a very hard time supporting a family of three. She sent me to the military academy in Belgrade because she could not pay for my studies. I served in the Tito Guard in Belgrade, spent years studying at the military school in Paris, and I have been in the service in Sarajevo since February 1966. I graduated from the Command and Staff Academy and the War School while I was the commander of the cadet battalion, a teacher of tactics and the head of the tactics department at the School Center in the “Marshal Tito” barracks in Sarajevo.

In the period 1984-1989 I was the commander of the TO of the Mostar district, and from 1989-1991 I was the commander of the TO of the Sarajevo district. Let me brag – I was awarded a high grade for performing these duties.

From 08.04.1992. I am in the position of operative, deputy commander of the TO RBiH and in various positions in the headquarters of the Armed Forces of RBiH until March 1, 1997! Dear members of the Army of BiH, it is up to you to judge what I was like as a soldier, professional, man, and comrade-in-arms – remember me like that and tell your closest ones. It is the most honorable period in my professional life. Dear members of ARBiH, be proud of your contribution to the defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina within its historical borders and the preservation of a civil and secular community. Raise your families on that foundation.

We did not take anything away from anyone or prevent them from owning their own. The most valuable thing in the past 27 years that we have jointly helped in the education of children and youth of Bosnia and Herzegovina – through scholarships, study and educational trips to 18 countries in Europe, Uruguay and Canada, summer vacations – inclusions on Veterans Lake for children victims of war, children with special needs and young people from the entity of Republika Srpska. 7,300 of them received scholarships, over 4,500 spent the winter and summer. Thank you to all the users of the Association who took the grain of knowledge from Mersiha, Melina, Edo, Meho and me in a quarter of a century. A young man who is fully educated and brought up can be useful to himself, his family and the community. Take what you have learned well in the “House of Love” and what you do not think you have not discarded.

Thank you to the young people now present in this place for becoming independent, family people and successful in their profession.

Dear citizens of Sarajevo, half a century of life among you – from neighbors, my hairdresser, tailors, shop assistants, in markets, newspaper sellers, you who work in institutions of culture, art, sports – thank you very much. I was one of you, with you in both sunny and rainy weather. There are no better people, except for a few, with whom my wife Vera and I had the warmest communication. Thank you. The days of life in Sarajevo were days of love, mutual respect and appreciation.

I apologize if I hurt anyone, never on purpose. Halalite mi, as they say in this area. I let out a tear, a moment before I closed my eyes. Let go now. May the Bosnian country be happy for me. With the love I carry with me.

Your Jovan, Bosnian and Herzegovinian from the bottom of the tub.