As a Bosnian, I share my current hometown of Utica with approximately 7,000 other Bosnians. 

In the last month there have been many scenarios that have evoked feelings from my past life.  I am certain I share these feelings with many, if not most, Bosnians in our community. 

Recently, Ratko Mladic, one of the monsters who was responsible for thousands of murders in Bosnia, finally was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity.  This day marked a historical event for us Bosnians around the world. 

As Mladic sits in a prison cell where he is most likely to die, many Bosnian families like mine continue to fight the left-over nightmares and heartaches his decisions left behind.  The atrocities that he committed were fueled by hatred and prejudice, which unfortunately continue to persist today. 

Milorad Dodik, the current president of the Serb region, sends a message to his people that "regardless of the verdict, Mladic remains a legend of the Serb nation."  

While Bosnia has lived in peace for over 20 years, the events that scattered us Bosnians all over the globe follow and haunt us every day.  It is with this that I wish to send a message that while genocide and mass murders have stopped, the pain that was embedded persists and will persist for generations to come; especially when people like Mladic are still seen as legends and not as the monsters for which they are. 

Dr.  Dina Radeljas PhD,  came to the United States as a refugee in 1995.  Her family fled Bosnia in 1993 and spent over a year and a half in a refugee camp in Pakistan.  She is a professor of social sciences at Mohawk Valley Community College. She lives in Franfort. This column is exclusive to the writer and does not represent the college or any other organization.

 

.