Croatia Marked the 23rd Anniversary of the Operation ‘Oluja’ and Celebrated Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and the Day of Croatian Defenders

Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day, the Day of Croatian Defenders and 23rd anniversary of the Operation ‘Oluja’ was marked today in Knin, on this date in 1995 Croatian Army took the city of Knin during Operation ‘Oluja’ – the most powerful military operation of the liberation of the homeland. This marked an end to self-proclaimed Serb entity in Croatia Republic of Serbian Krajina.

Photo by Darko Maretić

Today, the highest state and military officials attended the ceremony in Knin including Croatian president and supreme commander of  Armed Forces of Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Head of Government Andrej Plenković, president of Croatian Parliament Gordan Jandroković, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Damir Krstičević, Minister of Internal Affairs Davor Božinović, Minister of Croatian Defenders Tomo Medved, commander of Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia Mirko Šundov, Israel and U.S. delegation, member of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Dragan Čović and many others. They laid a joint crown and then the military bishop msgr. Jure Bogdan led the prayer for killed defenders.

Photo by Darko Maretić

Stjepan Cumbaj, the father of the Croatian defender Jadranko Cumbaj, spoke in the name of the fallen defenders, expressing the pride that the patriotism and the victims of their children were not forgotten. He said that it is our duty to make Croatia a land of happy people because their sons were fighting for them, pointing out: “they have proved that there is nothing that can not be achieved when it is guided by a pure heart and patriotism”.

This year the celebration was particularly impressive with two F-16 Barak Israeli air force planes, which were formed with two Croatian MiGs 21 that flew over the Knin Fortress.