Widow of Grdelica NATO
Train Victim Speaks Out
From Bob Djurdjevic <>
From Bob Djurdjevic < 1-8-99
This is an UPDATE only to the Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletin 2000/1-3 which we published earlier today . Other reports, such as the one enclosed below, can be accessed at our Web site: in the "TiM GW Bulletins" section.
Truth in Media's GLOBAL WATCH Bulletin 2000/1-3
Widow of Grdelica Train Victim Speaks Out
NIS, Jan. 8 We've just received a letter in reaction to this TiM GW Bulletin from Stela Jovanovic who was widowed by NATO's strike on the Grdelica train. We bring it to you in translation from Serbian. But first an introduction to Mrs. Jovanovic, and some background information about how she lost her husband. Here's an excerpt about it from the TiM editor's recent lecture (Toronto, Dec. 12, 1999):
"Stela Jovanovic is one of the most popular TV personalities in Nis, the third largest city in Serbia. She has won a number of international awards for her documentaries. You can see her here with yours truly on the set of a Nis TV studio, just before the airing of an hour-long live talk show about the Truth in Media activities.
After the program, as we walked through downtown Nis, Stela told me how it happened.
Her husband was called up as a reservist. He was on his way to join his army unit when the train was struck. His body was never found. Stela said she had searched frantically through every car on that train wreck. All in vain. So he is now officially listed as 'missing' by the Yugoslav Army.
Stela's 16-year old daughter refuses to accept her Dad's death. She got quite cross with her Mom that evening when she dressed in black for our TV show ('black' - color of mourning in Europe)."
And now, here's Stela's letter..
Targets or Mistakes
NIS, Jan. 8 - Targets or mistakes - What difference does that make to me and to my girls? To me, none whatsoever. Because I am convinced that that there are evil people in this world who have already changed my life and that of my daughters in the worst possible way.
But maybe it would make a difference if the truth were spoken, out loud. And if you were to read this letter of mine to those who ordered (the Grdelica train strike), and to those who pressed the button firing the deadly missiles.
We have accepted the death which has been dealt to us in this life. Maybe those who are responsible for our sorrow, and who will answer for it before God or man, have not accepted their sin as a deathly sin that it is - lives lost which cannot be brought back.
Maybe their excuse is the little rectangle with black borders on a video film; maybe they are able to reduce their world to a rectangle on the computer screen; maybe that's where they manage to find an excuse for what they've done and what they will be doing - for the pain and suffering they have caused and will be causing as long as levers of weapons are in their hands.
Oh, how I long to be able to tell them that lives and people aren't computer games; that lives of two girls of 16 and 18 years of age mean much, much more than that. Because they no longer have the father who nurtured them in this life; who carried them in his arms from the moment they arrived in this world; who dreamt with them a thousand dreams about the future together, and they with him.
I am setting myself aside and the 26 years I had spent with him, because I must learn to wear my sorrow in private. But I don't know how I will be able teach that lesson to the kids. I am trying to view the film of their lives the way some Pentagon people look at their 8mm films and at the little rectangles on their screens. And then make their decisions about if someone will live or die.
And I am teaching my children that pain is something one must experience. But not when someone's mindless games and decisions govern other peoples' lives.
The truth about the target or the wrong target Why are they shying away from the truth? The truth will arrive; it must arrive And what will they do when it catches up to them?
Is that, for us nameless pilot, who knows that he saw a train full of people, at least a little bit afraid of the truth and of his own thoughts, which he must have, despite being a professional soldier? Is he at least a little bit afraid of his own realization that he has made some, to him nameless people, terribly unhappy and their lives miserable, because of his mistake or a deliberate hit? How does one live with such realization, I would really like to hear him explain to me?
I would like to send to him, and I will send to him, pictures of my daughters. Their names are Milica and Smiljka. They are 16 and 18 years of age. And because of him or them; because of his or their decision; they will spend the rest of their lives without a father.
Does he think, do they think, that that's an easy thing to do? Do they think that you can also reduce such pain to a small rectangle on a computer screen? Do they really believe that that rectangle is an excuse for a deathly sin they've committed? Do they really believe that somebody, anybody can free them of that responsibility? Are there people in this world who are without conscience?
I don't think so. I don't think that there are people without souls. Souls cannot be hidden. And there is no such thing as a perpetual lie. Nor will their hidden truth change my life, but theirs. That is why they are hiding the truth. That is why they are trying to come up with every excuse imaginable. Because they know that there are no excuses!
I wish I could send to them the photos of the people they've killed with their "small rectangular computer screens." I wish I could send them to all their screens as small computer icons, so that they have to look at them every day of their lives. Until the pictures of the dead people enter their souls and stay with them day and night.
Maybe such pictures would prove to them that they do have a soul and conscience? Maybe when they look at the faces of their loved ones, and they must have at least someone they love and with whom they share their lives, maybe then things would be a little harder for them, too?
Things will never get easier for me, nor for my children. Which is why I wish to give them their truth and their lies as the most terrible curse which they will have to bear for the rest of their lives.
As for ourselves, despite such mindless people, we will manage. Somehow. As we have so far. Because we have something they don't - a soul! And that's enough for this life.
Stela Jovanovic -Nis-Yugoslavia
P.S. Bob, if you wish, you may translate this letter. Maybe it will reach someone. Maybe someone will understand that they have a soul, too. And that would mean that at least some good would have come from this tragedy.
TiM Ed.: Mrs. Jovanovic also said she would send us some photos. We will post them at our Web site when we get them. So that the NATO murderers who are responsible for the Grdelica strike, and the bombing of other civilian targets in Serbia, can download them and paste them up as little icons on their "rectangular computer screens." Just as Mrs. Jovanovic wished them to do. In the meantime, the killers can choose for their icons some of the 400 images of their crimes against humanity which are already posted -


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