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Remembrance Day Camp Butmir

By Capt. Luis Barber
First published in
SFOR Informer #101, November 22, 2000

Sarajevo - Every year, on the eleventh month, on the eleventh day at the eleventh hour in the morning, a traditional ceremony is carried out by the Commonwealth Nations, mainly the United Kingdom. In Sarajevo, the Remembrance Day joined many nations from around the world with the same idea.
The Remembrance Parade took place in Camp Butmir around the "Circle of Flags" outside the Headquarters SFOR building. The ceremony was held to honour those who have died in the service of their country.
For this event, Ambassadors of the Troop Contributing Nations were invited to attend, and troops from the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, United States, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal participated in the parade.
According German Cpl. Timo Hain, "It is very good to have all nations together remembering their dead."
British Maj. Andy Williams was in charge of co-ordinating while Regimental Sgt. Maj. James Makin was the Parade Marshall. Prayers, were led by the Rev. Joseph Moesel from the 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales Royal Regiment. This regiment also provided two buglers wearing full ceremonial uniform.
British Lt. Jo Nicholson said of the parade, "This year I am reminded of all the old comrades from my squadron, the Ayrshire Yeomanry, who turn up to the parade year after year without fail to remember their old friends. I know that they will all be in the squadron bar now recounting stories to the present squadron members."
As an introduction, the chaplain prayed.
"We meet today to remember before Almighty God, all those who have died in the cause of freedom, justice and peace for their country in war. We will pray for all those have survived, maimed in body and mind and will dedicate ourselves to the service of God and the common good, wherever right and honour lead."
After that, Graham Hand, the British Ambassador, led the lying of the wreaths on an improvised memorial placed just in the centre of the "Circle of Flags". Eleven wreaths were laid, surrounded by an emotional silence. Every representative marched to the memorial and put their wreath in a very sensitive way.
The buglers then played the "Last Post." It was eleven o'clock and two minutes of silence filled the morning.
Finishing the ceremony, the Canadians improvised another emotional action. They marched in pairs by the memorial and laid there their own poppies.
The wreaths remained in place until 4 p.m. the next day.
In the opinion of Portuguese Cpl. Manuel Mexia, "It is very worthy to remember our brave brothers who died in combat."

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: UK, Spain, Canada, Australia, US, France, Germany, Portugal, Ireland

Historic Moments