This day is about more than keeping alive the memory of the 8,000 men and boys who were savagely murdered in Srebrenica on July 11, 1995. It is about recommitting ourselves to a cause of conscience and conviction – and to say loudly and clearly, “no more, never again.”
As a Senator, I remember watching with horror as news reports poured in describing cycle after cycle of tragic, bloody violence. I was on the Senate floor days later demanding that we not abandon the Bosnians in the wake of this tragedy. As someone who has seen the brutality of war firsthand, the lesson of Srebrenica cut especially deep: The western world could not help write the war-torn nation’s epitaph -- we needed to help it survive.
The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina is over, but our cause for action now is the same: All of us have a responsibility to bear witness to atrocity. Working with the global community, the United States will steadfastly oppose policies of hate and discrimination anywhere and everywhere they rear their heads. We will work for the day when such policies never again lead to the bloodshed and human misery that shocked the conscience of the world in Srebrenica.
The United States is committed to ensuring justice for those who died. With each passing year, we are inspired by the family members of the victims as they find the courage to heal the wounds of the past and rebuild their communities.
Today of all days, we honor the victims. We draw strength from their courage, and we remember the responsibility that we all share to work for tolerance, peace, and understanding this day and every day the world over.