News 12 Jul 13

Montenegro Capital Names Boulevard After Wartime Hero

A major street in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica has been named after Srdjan Aleksic, a Serb who lost his life while trying to save his Muslim friend during the war in Bosnia.

Milena Milosevic
BIRN
Podgorica

The street in Podgorica was named Srdjan Aleksic Boulevard on Thursday, a date chosen to coincide with the 18th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide.

It is located near Pobrezje Park, a relatively new park which is dedicated to the civilian casualties of the wars in the former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 2001.

Aleksic died in 1993 while defending his Muslim friend from an attack by Bosnian Serb troops in the town of Trebinje and has since come to be regarded as a hero by many across the former Yugoslavia.

“Podgorica will, by opening a boulevard carrying the name of the tragically killed Srdjan Aleksic, maintain the memory of a person who, by protecting a young man of another nation and religion, demonstrated the principles according to which life should be led,” said Miomir Mugosa, Podgorica’s mayor, at the opening ceremony.

In April, media also reported that the authorities in Rozaje, a Montenegrin town close to the border with Kosovo, was set to approve a proposal by a group of locals to name a newly-built street in honour of Aleksic.

The story of Aleksic’s wartime stand, at a point when Serbs and Bosniaks were enemies, spread right across the former Yugoslavia. Several towns in Bosnia and Serbia have paid homage to Aleksic by naming streets and squares after him.

A plaque on a street in Sarajevo that is named after Aleksic reads: “Without people like Srdjan Aleksic and his heroic deeds, one would lose hope in humanity, and without it our life would have no meaning.”

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