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United we stand

By 1Lt. Kristoffer Egeberg
First published in
SFOR Informer#105, January 24, 2001

Miricina - Tears of joy and laughter could bee seen during the opening ceremony of the Miricina Bridge. The bridge, reconnecting the municipalities of Petrovo and Gracanica, and the Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina and Republika Srpska (RS), shows that a future can be built regardless of the past.
Engineers from the CIMIC construction platoon from the Nordic Polish Battle Group (NORDPOL) in co-operation with engineers from Alfa Company 1/10 Engineers at Eagle Base Tuzla and the Danish D Squadron built the new bridge, which replaces the old one destroyed in 1992.
Chief of staff NORDPOL Lt. Col. Jerzy Gut (Poland) stated that "It's a good example of co-operation between SFOR, authorities, and local people," during the opening ceremony where local citizens, mayors from both sides, and soldiers from SFOR crowded the bridge.
"The bridge facilitates communication and relations between two communities", he said, and pointed out the symbolic connection between the Federation and RS.
Everyone was invited to the bridge's nearest neighbour on the RS side. Celebrating their new means of communication and tool for reunion, food and drinks were served. Everyone side by side, old neighbours, new neighbours, and SFOR soldiers from MND-N. The mayors of Gracanica and Petrovo were both grateful for the project being a successes.
"The importance for both our communities is obvious. It reconnects the people, and communication. I think it will bring a better understanding between us and contribute to a better economy. Today, we are leaving behind the inconvenience in the past, and turning to the future", said Jenahid Jankovic, Mayor of Gracanica. He thanked SFOR, stating that they did a good job contributing in bringing the communities' closer.
"We must do everything to create a better future", he said.
So agreed Mayor Dusan Milotic of Petrovo.
"The bridge existed here before, which means that the time has come to re-establish normal relations. This project symbolises the continuation of our old life before the war", he said.
"The bridge strengthens the connection between two communities and two entities, giving the opportunity for a better life", he continued.
Lt. Col. Gut pointed out the professional job carried out by the soldiers who built the bridge, thanking them for their contribution to the happiness shown by the two local communities.

Related link:
Engineering - Bridges
Humanitarian Aid
Nations of SFOR: Poland, Finland, Denmark, US