The State of Michigan Representatives adopted the House Resolution HR 96 of 2015, proclaiming May 31, 2015 as White Armband Day in the State of Michigan. State Representatives unanimously voted to adopt the Resolution. The Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB), an umbrella organization representing the interests of American and Canadian Bosniaks welcomes the news of the passing of the House Resolution. President of the Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB), Mr. Hamdija Čustović thanked the Michigan legislators for their support to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bosniak Americans in Michigan in commemorating the 23rd anniversary when the Serb authorities in Prijedor ordered all non-Serbs to mark their houses with white flags or sheets and to wear a white armband if they left their houses.
Mr. Sanel Fazlić, a Bosniak activist from Grand Rapids, MI, survivor of the atrocities in Kozarac, said that he felt honored by this resolution, and privileged to live in a state that recognizes the importance of truly remembering the victims of genocide in Prijedor and elsewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina that occurred only two decades ago in the heart of Europe.
In writing on behalf of Bosniak American families in Michigan, Dr. Haris Alibašić, immediate past president of the CNAB, initiator of the resolution in the State and city of Michigan, stated that “The HR 96 of 2015 is another important gesture by Michigan elected officials to the families whose lives have been affected by the terrible tragedy of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It reminds us of the tragedy of war and the worst atrocity committed in Europe since the Holocaust and what happens when bigotry, hatred, and evil prevail. The horrors of the genocide anywhere in the world should never be forgotten.”
Transcript of the House Resolution HR 96 of 2015
Reps. Dillon, Brinks, Yanez, Kivela, Cochran, Geiss, Hoadley, Neeley, Greig, Darany, Gay-Dagnogo, Byrd, Clemente, Moss, Guerra, Singh, Rutledge, VerHeulen, Pscholka, Victory, Barrett, Hughes, Hooker, Howrylak, Muxlow, Lucido, Callton, Outman, LaFontaine, Garcia, Greimel, Driskell, Faris, Pagan and Schor offered the following resolution: House Resolution No. 96.
A resolution to declare May 31, 2015, as White Armband Day in the state of Michigan.
Whereas, The horror of the genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina should never be forgotten; and
Whereas, May 31, 2015, is commemorated as the 23rd anniversary when the Serb authorities in Prijedor, a town in north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina, ordered all non-Serbs to mark their houses with white flags or sheets and to wear a white armband if they left their houses; and
Whereas, As a direct result of ethnic cleansing of the Prijedor municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the town of Kozarac, 53,000 of its Bosniak residents were expelled from their homes, some 3173 unarmed civilians were executed, and 31,000 civilians were interned in various Serb run concentration camps; and
Whereas, This anniversary, together with this year’s 23rd anniversary since the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, raise awareness of the tragic suffering of the Bosnia and Herzegovina people and honors and remembers over 100,000 civilians who died as a result of the policies of ethnic cleansing and aggression in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the period of 1992-1995; and
Whereas, The tragic history of the genocide offers an opportunity to reflect on the responsibilities of individuals, societies, and governments, and serves as an important reminder of what can happen to civilized people when bigotry, hatred, and indifference govern; and
Whereas, The state of Michigan recognizes the importance of this event to bring closure for the Bosnian people through justice and truth; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the members of this legislative body declare May 31, 2015, as White Armband Day in the state of Michigan. We remember the victims of the policies of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the representatives of the Congress of North American Bosniaks as evidence of our profound respect and esteem.