Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo

Valentine’s Day will be here in a couple of days so all thoughts are on all things sweet and romantic. Well, those thoughts were interrupted this morning by a tweet from a friend (@driveafastercar ) who shared a heartbreaking news item about the bride who died during her first dance at her wedding reception. I am still numb thinking about the husband and how he felt when his new lovely bride died in his arms. It is just unbelievable. It makes you think deeply about things and appreciate everything all the more.

All this soul searching reminded me of another heart-wrenching tragedy from many years ago. I can’t believe it’s been almost fifteen years since the sad story of what they called the Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo. For those of you who don’t recall or never heard of this story, here’s a link with information on the documentary based on their lives.

Here’s a recap of their Story

The seige of Sarajevo in 1993 was so horrific that a couple decided to flee the city. Having friends on all sides involved in the conflict there was a general thought that their passage through the city and its infamous Sniper Alley could be a safe one. An arrangement was made for May 19, 1993 that no one would fire as the couple approached. According to Dino Kapin, who was a Commander of Croatian Unit allied at the time with Bosnian Army forces, around 17:00 h, a man and a woman were seen approaching the bridge. As soon as they were at the foot of the bridge, a shot was heard, and according to all sides involved in their passage, the bullet hit Boško Brkić and killed him instantaneously. Another shot was heard and the woman screamed, fell down wounded, but was not killed. She crawled over to her boyfriend, cuddled him, hugged him, and died. It was observed that she was alive for at least 15 minutes after the shooting. Mark H. Milstein was the American photojournalist who made the haunting image of Admira and Bosko’s final embrace.

Bosnian Moslem Admira Ismic and Bosnian Serb Bosko Brckic, both 25, died trying to escape Sarajevo. Their bodies remained in the no-man’s land for nearly four days before being recovered. They are now buried together, side by side in Lion Cemetery, surrounded by thousands of other victims from the Siege of Sarajevo.

Here are links for more information:

NFB Web page

The Journal for MultiMedia History

PBS Transcript “Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo

CNN Mission: Peace “Bodies of Sarajevo’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ come home
Kurt Schork’s signature dispatch from siege of Sarajevo

Here are the lyrics to a tribute song called Vrbana Bridge by Jill Sobule.

Final Thoughts

I know this is all sad and depressing kind of information, but I am not sharing it to bring anyone down. On the contrary, I am doing this with the hopes that it will have the total opposite effect on you. I hope that it makes you appreciate those you love more and perhaps cherish and treasure more moments that you have on this wonderful place called Earth. Just as having the Christmas spirit needn’t be relegated to just an annual event, being a lover doesn’t have to be a once a year thing either. Remember, cupid works 24/7 all year long.