My parents were eager and excited to visit their homes and the neighborhood they grew up in. They have not been there since the Genocide of Sarajevo war ended in 1994. But when we arrived at the area where their village used to be, there was nothing but rubble. The buildings were completely demolished, and there was nothing left of the village. All the beautifully built ancient buildings were crushed and all of their history with them. The village was completely abandoned, my family and I were not surprised that people did not try to live there because of the pain it brought them to see their homes gone. My mom automatically cried and I saw that my dad was horribly shocked and sad. My mom started explaining how she would walk down this hill and all of her neighbors greeted her on her way to school. She went over and stood in the rubble where her house used to be, and she started talking about her family gathering there every night to drink tea with her mom and her. My parents did not say a word on the way down the mountain, and did not say much the rest of the day. That moment, where I saw the sheer pain in my parents faces, changed my view on war and on life in general.
Though the emotional impact of the ravaged village was clear, the original reason for the war still confused me. My dad had explained to me plenty of times how the war got started, who was fighting and why the war broke out. But now that looking back on it I do not understand why so many innocent people absolutely had massacred and slaughtered. People that did not want anything to do with the war were killed and murdered along with their families. Having lost many family members to the war, I have learned to cherish the lives of others. I knew what it felt like to lose someone close to you. I hated the thought of wars similar to the Bosnian Civil war happening again.
In total, my dad and mom lost 14 family members. My dad lost both his parents, one brother, one sister, two cousin’s ,one uncle and one aunt. My mom lost her dad, her sister, two of her uncles and two of her brothers have never been found. I did not understand why my parents were so overprotective of me and always worried about me while I was a kid. Now I have realized that they can not handle losing anymore loved ones, it would bring them to much pain.
I had never realized how horrible war was, being a Bosnian refugee living in Germany. This being because of the type of peace and unity the community in Germany had. During the war many Bosnians, Serbs and Croats lived together in Germany as political refugee’s. While living there my family had become good friends with the Serbs and the Croats even though the three countries were at war together. Of course there was always the occasional arguments and disagreements , but what I loved most about the community was that we would always solve are problems peacefully and there would never be any big problems between us. Looking back at the experience’s I had there, It think it was amazing for three different families from different countries that were at war, found peace together. I could not help but wonder why things could not always be like they were in Germany or as they were in Bosnia before the war.
I know there will always conflict for many different reasons and many different types of conflict. I am just believe that the conflict between countries and between people in general can be solved without war and violence. While I know this is a small example of how peace can be achieved even during war, it has inspired me to believe that everyone can come together and put an end to war and fighting.