18th anniversary of the Operation “Lightning” commemorated
The 18th anniversary of the “Lightning” Operation, conducted jointly by the Croatian Armed Forces and the Police was celebrated at Okučani today 1 May 2013, in presence of the President of the Republic, Ivo Josipović, the Envoy of the Speaker of the Croatian Government, Igor Dragovan, the ministers of the Croatian Government, among whom the Defence Minister Ante Kotromanović, the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Drago Lovrić and other senior civilian and military officials.
In commemoration of the fallen defenders the state officials laid a wreath for the Republic of Croatia at the Croatian Defenders’ Memorial Cross at Okučani, followed by the representatives of the families of the fallen soldiers, the representatives of the associations from the Homeland War and by the representatives of the Brod-Posavina County and of the municipality of Okučani respectively.
President Josipović stated that commemorating the Operation was a sign of profound appreciation to the soldiers losing their lives to the Operation as a magnificient and important victory of the Croatian Armed Forces and Police that initiated liberation of the Homeland. Without the “Lightning” and the “Storm” Operations, added the President, we would not today have free Croatia.
The Minister of the Croatian Homeland War Veterans Predrag Matić opened a Memorial Room at Okučani, in remembrance of the defenders fallen in the “Lightning “Operation.
The ceremony included the mass served in the church of St. Vitus for all fallen Croatian defenders, the and civilian casualties of the Homeland War, the performance of a ceremonial programme by members of the Honorary and Protection Battalion and sport games of the veterams and volunteers of the Homeland War of the Brod-Posavina County.