Heroes are all around us, often unnoticed, unrecognized and unappreciated. At a time when internet portals, newspaper columns and social networks are bombarded with daily political chaos, heroes are changing the harsh reality with small but determined steps.
Jelena Križanac from Krčevin, in Vitez Municipality, is described by her fellow citizens as a hero. During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995), she saved many lives, displaying wisdom and bravery, without any regard to ethnic or religious differences. Although she has passed away, her children carry on her legacy of helping those in need.
At the age of 11, Mersiha Čusto (fromerly Mersiha Begović) saved a child from Bosnia and Herzegovina while they were ice skating on a partially frozen pond at a military barracks in the Czech town of Nyrsko. They were staying at the barracks as refugees during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In this year’s Peace March, thousands of participants walked from Nezuk (Sapna municipality) to Potočari (Srebrenica municipality) in memory of those killed in the genocide of July 1995. They passed through mountainous terrains, dense forests, and a number of returnee settlements. Upon arrival in Potočari, they attended the funeral for 50 victims of the genocide whose remains were found over the past year.
Banja Luka resident Merima Gajić is known to her fellow citizens as the heroine of the city on the Vrbas, after rescuing a young girl who recently found herself in the whirlpools of the cold Vrbas River. For this heroic act, she has received recognition from citizens throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as leaders in Banja Luka.
Two ordinary families of different ethnicities from villages near Kiseljak and Visoko were connected during the war—not only by the struggle for survival, great uncertainty, and waiting, but also by a togetherness, and humanity that overcame the futility of the war.