March 24, 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the war in Kosovo. Twenty years ago, was an endless stream of atrocities from that part of the world. The systematic rape and impregnating of the Kosovo women was most appalling.
The murder of forty boys and men was also attributed to the Serbs favorite term “ethnic cleansing.” A real hero and human rights champion emerged after the latest war crime was revealed.
His name was Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of Great Britain. He gave a speech in Chicago that finally nudged President Clinton into action. A few years later, another alliance would take hold in the form of Mr. Blair and President George W. Bush. This resulted in the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and did not go over well with England. Mr. Blair would be replaced eventually, but his mark on history would be profound and indelible.
A few weeks after that historic speech, this Hobokenite found himself on a NATO Base in Aviano, Italy. As a member of the Air Force Reserves, I will always be grateful to the people of the United States for giving me the opportunity to help stop the insanity. It has given my life meaning and purpose.
Looking back at the war, there’s one thing that stands out among all others. The entire country’s citizens were forced to march to the nearest border under threat of execution. The weakest never made it.
Imagine your children, your parents and grandparents forced to march out of the country with only a few possessions, in the cold and snow. Some of the terrain was especially dangerous in the mountains. Many of their homes were damaged or destroyed by the invaders. Forced to live in refugee camps, their futures must have seemed grim and demoralizing.
It was hard to understand, that even though we were knocking on the door to the twenty-first century, modern man could be capable of such nefarious crimes. I’ve always thought that on one end of the spectrum is God, the other end, the Devil. We are all put in between. It is our choice to go in either direction. God Bless the people of Kosovo.
TSgt Eric D. Garrison