The official fitness Czar for the City of Houston, and recipient of a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from United States President Joe Biden, Samir Becic, began a campaign a month ago requesting a proclamation from the Mayors of the largest cities in America to commemorate July 11th as Bosnia and Herzegovina Day in remembrance of the tragic Srebrenica genocide.
The Srebrenica genocide is considered one of the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II. It occurred during the Bosnian War, which lasted from 1992 to 1995. But what made it even more horrific was the forcible transfer and abuse of between 25,000 and 30,000 Bosniak women, children, and elderly that accompanied the massacre. To this day, their families still grieve their loss.
In 2007, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that the massacre and the accompanying atrocities constituted genocide. But the scars of the war and the genocide are still fresh. Bosnia is a country struggling to heal and unite its people in the aftermath of the destruction. Ethnic cleansing, rape, destruction, concentration camps, and mass killings became the norm, leaving over 100,000 people dead and 2.2 million displaced.
As a result of the war in Bosnia, and the subsequent genocide, Bosnia, its core values, and everything that its people stood for were destroyed.
The Honorable Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz of Toledo, Ohio, has granted Samir’s request in proclaiming Jul 11, 2023, as Bosnia-Herzegovina Day in Toledo in remembrance of the Srebrenica genocide. Samir is humbled by the powerful gesture and thankful “On behalf of Bosnian-Americans, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the City of Toledo and the honorable Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz for granting my request for Bosnia and Herzegovina Day.”
Samir was deeply affected by the Srebrenica genocide, a mass killing of over 8,000 Bosniak (Bosnian) men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995. His own hometown of Kljuc was one of the locations also hit by Serbian forces, where 784 victims were killed (and 34 victims are still unaccounted for), including his family members, his neighbors, and his school friends. From one day to the next, they vanished. Having personally experienced the horrors and loss of the Bosnian War, Samir realized that many people in America are not aware of this tragic event and its significance.
Determined to change that, Samir’s campaign urges American Mayors to raise awareness about the genocide and honor the memory of the victims. His efforts to educate these mayors about the Srebrenica genocide demonstrate the power of individual action.
Samir’s personal experience with war and displacement inspired him to help others and promote peace, fueling his career in health and fitness. And now, his outreach to the mayors of major cities in America is an inspiring example of how one person can make a difference.
It is essential to educate people about the Srebrenica genocide to promote understanding, tolerance, and peace. By learning about the past, we can work towards a better future.
Samir’s mission highlights the importance of remembering history and promoting tolerance and peace. His outreach to the mayors of the largest cities in America is an inspiring example of how to make a difference, no matter how small it may seem.
Let’s honor the memory of the victims of the Srebrenica genocide and ensure that such atrocities are never repeated.