The 20th Anniversary of the Police and Military Operation “Lightning“ was commemorated in Okučani on …
“The liberation of Western Slavonia in spring 1995 was the turning point paving the way for the Operation “Storm” which liberated almost the entire occupied territory of Croatia. On the 25th anniversary, living in a free and modern Croatia, which has achieved all national goals, which is a member of NATO and of the European Union, and presently chairing the Council of the EU, we wish to reiterate our tribute to those who made the biggest sacrifice for the freedom of Croatia”, said PM Plenković
On 1 May 2020 Okučani hosted the marking of the jubilary 25th anniversary of the Operation “”Lightning”, featuring the performance of the Croatian national anthem and the roll of honour of the 51 fallen Croatian members, by Krešimir Šimić, the son of one of them.
The government and military delegations, and also the wife of the legendary pilot Rudolf Perešin Ljerka Perešin on behalf of the families, of the Association of the Disabled Veterans, of the Union of associations of the guards brigades and of the Association of Special Police Unit and wartime commanders laid wreaths paying respects at the monument dedicated to the defenders fallen during the Operation (“Kristalne kocke vedrine”).
The respects were paid by the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Gordan Jandroković, by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, by the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, by the Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović and by the Minister of Homeland War Veterans Tomo Medved, by the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces Admiral Robert Hranj and by Director of the Police Nikola Milina, as well as by the Prefect of the Brodsko-posavska County Danijel Marušić and by the Head of the Municipality of Okučani Aca Vidaković.
Expressing gratitude to the fallen veterans in Operation “Lightning” Prime Minister Andrej Plenković emphasised that the memorial had been placed during the mandate of his Government and at the initiative of the Minister of Homeland War Veterans Tomo Medved. “The Liberation of Western Slavonia in spring 1995 was the turning point paving the way for the Operation “Storm” which liberated almost the entire occupied territory of Croatia. On the 25th anniversary, living in a free and modern Croatia, which has achieved all national goals, which is a member of NATO and of the European Union, and presently chairing the Council of the EU, we wish to pay one our tribute again to those who made the biggest sacrifice for the freedom of Croatia “said Prime Minister Plenković.
The Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Gordan Jandroković said the delegations came to Okučani to pay respects and gratitude to the fallen Croatian defenders and remind of the magnificent victory of the Croatian Army and police, which had paved the way for the decisive and victorious operation “Storm”.
The Defence Minister Damir Krstičević stated: “We demonstrated our ability to conduct a complex military operation such as “Lightning”. Three months later we conducted the Operation “Storm”, which finally brought peace and the long-desired freedom to the Croatian people.
The decisive elements of victory in both operations were the brave Croatian defenders. We wish to extend appreciation to the families of the fallen, deceased and missing Croatian defenders, to the first President of Croatia Franjo Tuđman, the wartime Defence Minister Gojko Šušak, the Chief of General Staff General Janko Bobetko and all other participants of the Operation. It is our lasting mission to guard the memory of the defenders and commanders and events and of the Homeland War as the foundation of the modern state of Croatia and to continue developing the Croatian Armed Forces and the country itself.