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(E) A brief synopsis on the Vukovar symposium in Wash DC
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  11/18/2001 | Education | Unrated
(E) A brief synopsis on the Vukovar symposium in Wash DC
Nenad, 
Last nigth I attended the Vukovar symposium in Washington, DC sponsored by 
the AMAC - National Capital Group and Dr. Dragan Jezic (President of this 
AMAC chapter) and Dr. Danica Ramljak. Several people have already contacted 
me asking how it was, so this will be a very brief rundown on the event for 
the entire CroWorldNet. AMAC plans to put out a more formal report in the 
future. Although I tried my best to convince C-SPAN to cover the event, I 
failed - so to all, please accept my apologies. 
 
This event was very well done and received. I want to especially note that 
Dr. Ramljak put on a highly professional, interesting, well attended event - 
and that she has now set "the bar high" for any future symposiums and panel 
discussions here in Washington. My personal thank you to Danica, and thank 
you to Ambassador Ivan Grsdesic and the entire Croatian Embassy who helped 
sponsor the event and supplied voluteers, and all others who pitched in. 
The title of this event was "Out of th Rubble: Impact of a City's Destruction 
on Country and Society": 10th Anniversary of the Destruction of Vukovar". 
Panelists and speakers included Amb Grdesic, Dr. Dragan Jezic, Amb Peter 
Galbraith (Moderator), Amb Drago Stambuk, Ms. Alenka Mirkovic-Nadj (Radio 
Vukovar), Prof Ognjen Caldarovic (Univ of Zagreb), Dr. Raymond Shelton (NYC), 
Amb Jeanne Kirkpatrick and Congressman Elliot Engel (who spoke in stead of 
Congressman Chris Smith - who did not attend and had another professional 
commitment that could not be avoided). 
<DIV> </DIV> 
<DIV>Some footnotes:</DIV> 
<DIV> </DIV> 
<UL> 
<LI>it was held at a conference room at the Leavey Student Center at 
Georgetown University - an excellent, comforable venue</LI> 
<LI>about 150 persons attended (my rough guess)</LI> 
<LI>C-SPAN did not cover it (much to my chagrin) but there were journalists 
and TV camera persons in attendence and filming from Zagreb and VOA</LI> 
<LI>the panelists discussed not only Vukovar, but the attacks on the WTC and 
the Pentagon, and the comparisons between these two milestone events </LI> 
<LI>at the beginning, after Dr. Jezic's warm opening remarks - about seven 
minutes of film footage of the last days of Vukovar were showed on a large 
screen for the audience - most of the film taken by RTV Belgrade - this 
effectively set the solemn tone of the evening and focused the audiences 
attention</LI> 
<LI>all of the speakers were excellent, esp Ms. Mirkovic-Nadj and Amb 
Stambuk</LI> 
<LI>Ms. Mirkovic-Nadj emphatically described in detail her last days in 
Vukovar and her experiences and last minute escape; she gave us a powerful 
first hand account of what it was like during the last weeks and days in 
Vukovar, and she spoke of the herosim of her radio colleagues and the 
remaining 16,000 citizens who endured the three month long siege; no one in 
the audience was left untouched by this heartfelt and dramatic account - by 
her descriptive account, I felt a sense for what she went through in my 
opinion, Dr. Stambuk is a "hidden treasure" for all Croatians - he was soft 
spoken, and poetic, yet powerfully clear; he spoke in both Croatian and 
English, and recited a small but moving poem commemorating Vukovar and, it 
must be noted that his English was perfect each word spoken conveyed a deep 
sense of clarity and emotion that completely compelled the audience to focus 
on his main message: that Vukovar died so that Croatia could live - that the 
defenders of Vukovar, by willingly sacrificing their lives for Croatia, in 
effect "bought" Croatia the time necessary to organize and form a defense 
strong enough to withstand the Serbian genocidal onslaught; Dr. Stambuk 
reminded us all of our collective debt to Vukovar and its defenders, and he 
encouraged the current Croatian gov and all Croats everywhere to raise funds 
to help rebuild Vukovar and to assist Croatians to return; he suggested that 
we contact large foundations like the Rockefeller Foundation and others to 
see if they would be interested in rebuilding Vukovar in all, a very powerful 
and moving speech 
the other speakers were all excellent, too 
I few final notes: thanks again to Dr. Danica Ramljak, Dr. Jezic and the AMC 
and all others - this was an event we are all proud to have attended there 
(reportedly) is another upcoming panel discussion in December at The Cato 
Institute (<A HREF="http://www.cato.org">www.cato.org</A>) here in 
Washington, DC regarding Stability in the Balkans(?) - not sure - details are 
not yet posted yet on the Cato website; I understand that the President of 
the HDZ will be one of the panelists, Dr. Ivo Sanader; the Cato Institute is 
an extremely well-funded (right-leaning) think tank devoted to individuals 
rights and freedoms; The Cato has championed the causes and positions of the 
Serbian American community over the past ten years, and several of their 
senior analysts have written pro-Serbian articles and reports; some, like 
Jonathon Clarke, have been guest speakers at <A HREF="http://www.suc.org"> 
www.suc.org</A> annual conventions and functions; even though not all of the 
ideas and positions advocated by the Cato Institute are adverse (like 
reducing the role of the international community in Bosnia - and by 
definition giving more rights to the Croatian community in Bosnia, this 
argument cuts both ways and could apply to the RS, too I hope that Dr. 
Sanader is well prepared for this event!! 
finally, I think one way we could honor the fallen defenders of Vukovar (ten 
years after they sacrified their lives for Croatia) and honor the request of 
Dr.Stambuk, is to try our best (here in the US) to unite and work together 
effectively, as a team; to that end, I hope that the recent proposal by Marko 
Puljic - to develop a website to be jointly shared and supoorted by the CAA 
and NFCA, gets the support it deserves - let us all work toward this goal -as 
a first step to developing a more effective, stronger, kore united (in any 
and all ways possible) community here in the US 
 
Regards. 
Tony Margan 
 
 
distributed by CROWN (Croatian World Net) - CroworldNet@aol.com 
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