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Melody of harmony plays in Sarajevo to mark WWI centennial

Melody of harmony plays in Sarajevo to mark WWI centennial

Posted June. 30, 2014 04:23,   


A ceremony marking the centennial of the death of Franz Ferdinand, the crown prince of Austria-Hungary Empire, which sparked the outbreak of World War I, took place in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina on Saturday.

At the commemorative ceremony held at the Sarajevo City Hall on the day, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performed Beethoven`s “Ode to Joy,” the anthem of the European Union. When Conductor Franz Leopold Maria Möst held up the baton, actor and actress playing Gavrilo Princip and Franz Ferdinand characters reinstated the situation of gunshots at the incident 100 years ago. Two shots fired by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip triggered the outbreak of World War I (1914-1918), which resulted in 10 million deaths.

Bosnia-Herzegovina President Bakir Izetbegovic said, “Bosnia’s 20th Century started with World War I and ended with the Bosnian Civil War (1992-1995),” stressing mindset and wisdom to achieve peace. Karl von Habsburg, the grandson of the last Austrian emperor Charles, also said, “’Unified Europe’ cannot be completed without Bosnia.”

Serbian leaders, who have staged three-year Civil War with the Bosnian faction, who are Muslims, boycotted Saturday’s commemorative ceremony, saying that a name plate describing "Serbians" as "criminals" is hanging at the entrance to the national library within the Sarajevo City Hall, which was recently reconstructed. This dispute illustrated a high barrier to historical compromise.