Feature: People of former Yugoslavia pay respects to Tito [Xinhua]

BELGRADE, May 4 (Xinhua) — Several thousand people coming from across their former country walked on Sunday around the grave of the lifetime president of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and lied wreaths and flowers on the 34th anniversary of his death on May 4th, 1980 at the age of 87.

People from all six former republics of the former Yugoslavia: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia and Montenegro gathered since the morning in front of the “House of Flowers” that is a part of the Museum of Yugoslavian History and contains graves of Josip Broz Tito and his wife Jovanka that died in 2013.

All of them came here with organized tours across the former Yugoslavia, because, as they say, all of them share the same feeling that Tito’s country was a fulfilment of a dream that will hardly ever repeat.

“Our father died on this day, but he is still in our hearts. In his time we had everything and it was all for free-medicine, books everything. That is why we come here for ten consecutive years”, says Zivko Mitrev from Kocani, Macedonia to Xinhua.

Another one from the same Macedonian group, Georgi Nikolov says that Yugoslavia for him never fell apart. “In my heart Yugoslavian spirit still survives, and I’ll never give up from it, as it is my path – Tito’s path for all of us,” he told Xinhua.

Rade Sobic that was born back in 1940s in Drvar, Bosnia and Herzegovina but lives for 50 years in Belgrade says that he owes everything to Yugoslavia and Tito, as he got educated, had a job, and now receives a pension.

“Josip Broz Tito liberated the people from Hitler’s slavery but our nations got divided twenty five years from the outside, by foreign mercenaries,” he says, after leaving a red flower at the white marble plate with four large golden letters carved on top.

Sadika Badic Abdic from Cazin in Bosnia and Herzegovina says that seeing all these people “and to see all this, presented in front of me raises on my head and tears rushed on my eyes.”

“Tito’s country was a state. This now is nothing,” she says and explains she came to the “House of Flowers” for the first time and is amazed with the look of the grave of Josip Broz Tito and his wife Jovanka who died in 2013 and buried next to her husband.

Ramiza Bemic also from Cazin came to Belgrade with her friend, Emina Hadzic, to celebrate her 31st birthday, and visit Tito’s grave.

“Although I only lived in Tito’s country for a short while, everything echoes with memories on what things once were. I came here to see it”, Ramiza Bemic told Xinhua.

Several hundred people attended the ceremony at the Museum that started with anthems of Yugoslavia and the official anthem of the Socialist International.

Lieutenant General of the Yugoslav People’s Army, JNA Stevan Mirkovic, that was also a member of the Yugoslav Partisans during the liberation struggle in the Second World War made a speech to the gathered people in which he criticized former republics of Yugoslavia for misinterpreting historical facts and denying the benefits that communists brought to the Yugoslavian people.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-05/04/c_126460579.htm

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