Zagreb - On the eve of Vukovar Memorial Day and the 28th anniversary of the Škabrnja massacre, candles were lit and prayers were said throughout Croatia to commemorate the victims of the 1991-95 Homeland War and the defeat of Vukovar's defence forces on November 18, 1991.
Candles were traditionally lit along Zagreb's Vukovarska Street and numerous citizens gathered in front of a monument to Croatia's first president Franjo Tuđman, where Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, too, lit a candle for the Vukovar victims.
The commemoration in front of the monument to Tuđman was also attended by Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović, Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić and representatives of associations of the Homeland War defenders and victims.
On the eve of the 28th anniversary of the Vukovar tragedy, a prayer was said outside the Vukovar General Hospital and candles were lit at a monument dedicated to the victims of the 1991 aggression, with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović attending the event.
Participating in the prayer were also Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić-Radman, War Veterans Minister Tomo Medved, State Assets Minister Mario Banožić, Vukovar Mayor Ivan Penava, Vukovar County head Božo Galić, hospital staff and numerous residents of Vukovar.
They were joined by pilgrims who were arriving in the city to attend the central commemoration of the 28th anniversary of the city's plight in the Homeland War and Vukovar Memorial Day. Candles were lit for the victims of Vukovar also in Split, Osijek and Varaždin.
On the eve of the 28th anniversary of the Škabrnja massacre, when enemy and Serb rebel forces seized that village in the Zadar hinterland, killing dozens of villagers and defenders and setting houses on fire, local residents lit candles and organised a concert of sacred music to commemorate the victims.
Candles were also lit in a number of Croat communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with several thousand people heading off to Vukovar to attend commemorative events on Monday.