At the age of four Nejc would wake to the sound of Thunder. He would run to the window to see the storm, only to find the Thunder came not from the sky, but the street. As he stood and listened he could now hear the sound of grinding metal and a clanking which he did not understand.
He would see people running about yelling, and soon he would see the cause of the Thunder, Tanks.
The Tanks were carrying the Serbian emblem. Slovenia, the newly founded country from where Nejc lived, had recently gained its independence and Serbia did not like it.
Nejc would spend much of his childhood hearing the sounds of conflict. He would hear fighting, know people who would perish, see his neighbors house leveled from Artillery, also losing the windows from his house at this time.
His childhood would be marked with a sound which has still do this day as a young adult never left him, the sound of Air Raid Sirens and the sound of machine guns and artillery.
He and his friends would gather as only a child can do and do foolish things. They would wait in Ambush and then throw rocks at passing tanks, yelling defiantly.
They also would be exposed to something no child ever should, the constant threat of Minefields in Neighboring Muslim areas where they would later travel to see friends and family.
Like all in the area he would know the pain of losing friends and family senselessly to a conflict over Ideology, some of which at times has spanned for Centuries.
The Croatians (Catholic) and Serbians (Orthodox) had been the primary waring fractions, arguing over petty differences mostly. In this conflict the Croatians wanted to break free, and of course the Serbians did not like it. This would set friends upon friends as they battled over something very few understood.
The Muslims would be thrown into the mix despite being the predominantly peaceful lot of the group. This month marks the Anniversary of over 8000 Muslims in Bosnia. Where Men, Women, and Children would be lined up and gunned down by those within the Serbian Military. Mind you they were not without theirs, thus is the nature of war. The KLA or Kosovo Liberation Army would be considered a Terrorist Organization by the US State Department. Later as the US invaded to quell the violence, they would be supported and armed by the US, some things never change.
The 11th day of the Seventh month of this year is for the Muslims in Srebrenica, a day where people gather to remember, and mourn the 20th anniversary of this Massacre.
It is a time which should be moved past, but not forgotten, a conflict that only time can heal, but eyes shall always be cast suspiciously.
The areas where fighting was the hardest, are still littered with landmines to this day.
Unfortunately this is a problem in much of the world, and is not just indicative to this area. Nejc, like many young boys, had walked thru those fields of mines.
I think we can do better as the Human Race, I really do.