Published Monday 8 July 2019 at 9:23
Victims of the Srebrenica genocide will be remembered at a special service hosted by Blackburn Cathedral on Thursday 11 July.
The memorial event will take place from 1.30pm to 2.30pm and everyone is welcome.
It will be held in the memory of more than 8,000 Muslim Bosnians who were killed during the Bosnian War in July 1995.
The Srebrenica genocide is the only holocaust committed in Europe since World War Two. Thousands of men and boys were systematically murdered and buried in mass graves, targeted because of their religion.
The memorial ceremony will be attended by the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Councillor Jim Shorrock, and the Leader of the Council, Councillor Mohammed Khan.
Alongside other dignitaries, they will light candles in memory of the Srebrenica genocide victims.
Guest speaker at the memorial is Ramiza Gurdić from the Association Movement of Mothers of Srebrenica. She will give a personal account of losing her husband and two sons in the genocide 24 years ago.
Performers from the National Theatre of Sarjevo, Bosnia will play music traditional to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and recite poetry commemorating the atrocity in 1995.
Local schools have been invited to take part in the memorial, reading pledges to demonstrate how we can all learn from the lessons of Srebrenica to create a more tolerant community.
Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said:
It is so important to listen to the lessons of the past so that we can all play a part in creating a safer, more tolerant future for everyone. Joining with the Remembering Srebrenica charity and our local communities in this memorial event helps us to understand the consequences of leaving hatred and intolerance unchallenged. We cannot allow such an atrocity to happen again.
The Revd Dr Rowena Pailing, Blackburn Cathedral’s Canon Missioner, said:
We can make our world a better place if we learn the lessons of history and ensure that nothing like the atrocities carried out in Srebrenica ever happen again. Thursday’s act of remembrance, which is open to people of all faiths and none, honours the victims and survivors of the 1995 genocide, and is also an opportunity to commit ourselves to creating a better, stronger and more united society.
Anyone who would like to attend the Srebrenica memorial in Blackburn Cathedral on Thursday 11 July should arrive to the cathedral’s main entrance before 1.30pm.
After the memorial, there will be the opportunity to network and chat to those who have taken part in the event.