Remembrance of January 1994. and sufferings and killings of Croats in Buhine kuće

The Associations that were formed in the Homeland War marked the 25th anniversary of the suffering and killing of the Croats in Buhine Kuce on the cemetery in Topala in Vitez on January 9th.

Photos: Zvonimir Čilić

Photos: Zvonimir Čilić

For all the killed members of the HVO of Vitez brigade, the families of killed as well as associations that came out of the Homeland War and representatives of the municipal and county structures of the authorities, laid wreaths, lit candles and prayed on a memorial place in front of the Topala graveyard, where the largest number of victims are buried. After that, the sacred mass for the dead was served in the cemetery, led by the parish priest of St. George’s parish in Vitez OFM Velimir Bavrka in concelebration with OFM Boris Plavčić, and at the beginning of the service the names of the victims were read, among whom is the youngest two-year-old child.

“The first feeling we have is the feeling of sorrow for all those who are no longer among us, and they were so brave that they were not afraid of death, but had as a measure and true appreciation in these war years only the love for their own. Love for the homeland, love for the endangered lives of our fellow men and love for our holy things were their driving force. With the feelings of gratitude and pride we remember every Croatian defender and every innocent civilian who paid our freedom with their lives. And for them, we pray”, said OFM Velimir in his sermon, telling the people that they should turn their eyes toward Heaven while remembering them.

According to his words, belief in God encourages life-step of the living so that they don’t wear down in the hopelessness and ignorance, but that they in full confidence in God's goodness and mercy can hope that the victims enjoy eternal peace in the joy of seeing God's face. Among the feelings that on this day overwhelm especially all those who remember the victims of the Buhine Kuće, the priest emphasized the pride of the fact that the dead were not demolishing and conquering driven by hatred, but they defended lives and homes driven by love.

“With the feeling of pride we should not forget about our commitments today. Every life fallen in the Homeland War, every cross over every grave is a warning of the conscience of all of us who live today and bear the responsibility for building this country”, said OFM Velimir, adding that the right path should be chosen. “There must be only one choice: to love God, to do good, to invest all our strengths and knowledge, the power of the mind, the spirit and the body, to ensure future for the future generations”, said the priest, adding that the permanent task and challenge of all the inhabitants of our homeland is to take over your part of responsibility, embed your stone into a large and varied mosaic, know to appreciate the sacrifice of all who have given their lives so that others can live and work in freedom.

He emphasized that the Word of God can help in this, which is the corrective of human behaviour. He also reminded the power of the prayer that was the power of the defenders, and called on everybody not to forget to bring their hands together and point their gaze towards heavenly Jerusalem, the eternal homeland. “If we want to reach that city, then here, in the way of life, we need faithfulness. We need zeal and we need peace. To achieve this, our heart needs to be raised in righteousness and trust in God, who is the source of love, forgiveness, and goodness”, said OFM Brother Velimir at the end of the homily.

Let us recall, in the nine-month defence of the fully enclosed and constantly attacked Lašva valley by the BiH Army units on January 9th, 1994, was one of the toughest days. On January 9th, under the haze of foggy nights, members of the elite units of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina attacked Buhine Kuće, a suburb of Vitez, and slaughtered soldiers and civilians.

Among the 36 killed soldiers and civilians there were also nine members of PPN "Munje", members of the HVO Travnik, dozens of houses and commercial buildings were robbed and burned. Even after 25 years, no one has responded to this crime, and the families of those killed are particularly hurt by this.