Memorial Day Reflections in 2015

In 2015, Remembering Srebrenica marked the 20th anniversary of the genocide with a powerful commemoration in front of 2,000 guests at Westminster Abbey. These are the messages that were written in the book of pledges following the commemoration:


‘Remembering all those who suffered’ – Valerie Vaz MP

‘We must always keep learning from history’ – Alec Shelbroke MP

‘It is to my extreme regret that I was ordered, despite my protests, to withdraw my soldiers from Srebrenica in April 1993. I wonder if this genocide would have happened if soldiers of Her Majesty the Queen had been in Srebrenica in July 1995. I hope not and have always felt that we should have stayed’. – Colonel Bob Stewart DSO MP, Lately British UN Commander in Bosnia 1992-92

‘We must never forget, and always be vigilant. It is why international law must be further developed and implemented for the protection of those who are vulnerable’. – Baroness Northover


‘We must remember – and we must learn’. Lord Stunell

Remembrance for the future’. Henry Smith MP

‘Remembering those so brutally murdered, their families, and their communities’. Graham Jones MP

‘Always remembering, we can never let the suffering of the past happen again’. Jim Shannon MP


‘I visited Srebrenica in 2009 and saw first-hand the suffering that had taken place and the many families who were still picking up the pieces. We must never allow this type of atrocity to happen again’. Marcus Jones MP


‘In memoriam: May we never forget in order that we never repeat’. Baroness D’Souza, Lord Speaker of the House of Lords

‘We will remember them’. James Gray MP

‘To see genocide in Europe during my lifetime was horrifying revelation. The passage of time does not lessen its impact. Robert Buckland MP, Solicitor General for England and Wales

‘We must always remember those who have lost their lives and we must strive to learn the lessons of history so that genocide and oppression are prevented from happening now and in the future’. Dan Jarvis MP


‘A genocide of this scale in or time and on our continent is horrifying. We must never let this happen again to anyone’. Yasmin Qureshi MP, Chair of APPG on Srebrenica


‘Srebrenica was the worst atrocity in Europe since the Second World War. We must remember and learn for the future’. Andy Slaughter MP


‘The horror and loss the people of Srebrenica suffered will always be seared on my memory and my heart. I am deeply sorry for the vast losses suffered’. Sarah Champion MP

‘It is one of those events that we must never forget. That’s the best way of ensuring we don’t let anything like it happen again’. Steve McCabe MP

‘Still very saddened by this genocide. This simply should never have happened. We must remember the people and the past histories to avoid this ever occurring in the future’. Ian Lavery MP

‘It is horrifying and tragic that a genocide can still happen so recently and so close by. Srebrenica reminds us how much still have to learn and how great the challenges remain. We must not forget and must continue to work to ensure it can never happen again’. John Whittingdale MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

‘If we do not remember, then the world will see this tragedy again. We must not forget and must strive to prevent’. John Spellar MP

‘We must remember this terrible event and make sure that the world remembers what happened to these innocent people’. Karen Lumley MP, Chair APPG on Bosnia

‘It is shameful that this happened on our continent after we thought that we had learned the lessons of the holocaust’. Andrew Selous MP


‘The genocide at Srebrenica is a stain in the history of modern Europe. It must never be repeated – and never forgotten too’. Nick Clegg MP


‘My prayers and thoughts are with those whose lives were tragically and brutally taken, and with those left behind. Let’s strive both to remember and to ensure such atrocities never occur again’. Robert Flello MP

‘We should never forget what happened in the last century so as to make sense that the crime will never happen again in the 21st century. My thoughts and prayers are with the mothers and families of those men and boys that were murdered in 1995. Never again’. Graham Evans MP

‘May we never forget the terrible deeds committed against humanity in a corner of Europe in the 1990s. I was in Sarajevo in 1993 during the siege and remembering the extraordinary bravery of the people of Bosnia’. Baroness Crawley

‘I was Britain’s Ambassador at the UN and representative on the Security Council at the time of the massacre and therefore bear some responsibility for what happened. We must not let it happen again and ensure that all those responsible are brought to justice’. Lord Hannay, British Ambassador to the United Nations 1990-1995


‘It is crucial that more and more people know about what happened in Srebrenica. This is one of the ways we can ensure that it never happens again. It is our duty to remember’. Sadiq Khan MP


‘I shall always be glad that I spoke out against this terrible event, and campaigned for Bosnia on the floor of the House of Commons. These evil deeds besmirched our continent and must never, ever be repeated. Lord Cormack

‘An atrocity which will never be forgotten’. Diane Abbott MP

‘So vital that we remember the very worst of mankind to build a future towards the best. May we never forget’. Toby Perkins MP

‘We must remember but we must also learn. Intervention early in a conflict is a better option than difference or neglect’. Mike Gapes MP

‘We must always remember terrible crimes against humanity. We will remember those murdered and those close family members left without husband, fathers etc’. David Winnick MP

‘It is the pain and suffering of others that should remind us of our good fortune and the debt we owe’. Lord Blunkett

‘With sincere sympathy and a determination never to forget’. Stephen Pound MP

‘’With respect to the memory of victims, family and friends’. John Mann MP

‘I shall never forget visiting Srebrenica in July 2005 as British Foreign Secretary for the 10th anniversary commemoration of this appalling atrocity. It is crucial that we never, ever forget’. Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary 2001-06

‘They should have been safe. It was a dark day for Europe’. Lyn Brown MP

‘We must never forget. We need to actively remind the world and world leaders. As memories fade, we must keep the reality, in all its awfulness, alive’. Meg Hillier MP

‘This sort of thing must never again happen in Europe’. Neil Carmichael MP

‘The memories of the Bosnian genocide is embedded in our hearts. To those who lost their lives, we pray for their souls. To the survivors, we walk with you and stand with you forever in unity’. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon


‘In memory of the innocent lives lost in the genocide in Srebrenica. Visiting Srebrenica and meeting the mothers was one of the most moving and important experiences of my life. We must never forget’. Baroness Hussain-Ece


‘Srebrenica is one of the great horror stories of modern Europe’s recent times. Never again must we allow such atrocities to take place again’. Gareth Thomas MP

‘Proud to wear the symbol of peace in memory of so many who lost their lives’. Anne Main MP

‘One of the most terrible tragedies of my lifetime. This must not be forgotten as just another piece of history. It must never happen again’. Richard Harrington MP

‘Never to be forgotten. This happened on our watch and we must against it happening again. God bless all those who went through this terrible crime. Our prayers are with you’. Baroness Manzoor

The Bosnian genocide is a terrible event that happened while the world watched. My prayers are with those who lost their lives, and with family members who lost loved ones’. Lord Qurban Hussain

‘We will not forget Srebrenica’s men, women and children’. Baroness Uddin

‘It is so important that we remember the scale of this dreadful massacre and learn lessons from the future’. Chris Leslie MP

‘An appalling event, never to be forgotten’. Heather Wheeler MP


‘We should never forget this appalling tragedy’. Andrew Bingham MP

‘I have had an incredibly moving experience visiting Srebrenica and meeting the families of the victims. We must never let an atrocity like this happen again’. Iain Stewart MP


‘With Rwanda and Srebrenica ringing in our ears, let us hope our generation can make genuine progress against such unspeakable atrocities’. Andrew Mitchell MP


‘There have been so many massacres in so many countries and we always say that no one should forget. Sadly, this massacre is in living memory of so many. This time the world must not forget all those who died needlessly’. Pauline Latham MP

‘We must never forget, lest other generations pay the same price’. David Davis MP

‘The horrors of Srebrenica have been etched in my mind ever since reading some of the harrowing testimonies from the conflict as a student, just a few years after they happened. We must never forget, and we must never underestimate the human capacity for both evil, and to make peace between peoples. Let us all dedicate our lives and careers to ensuring the latter prevails’. Stephen Doughty MP

‘We remember the pain and sorrow and broken communities’. Geraint Davies MP


‘How a world could look on and not appear to see, how we could know but not know how to act, how we could pretend to promise safety but stand by in neglect and dereliction. We need to consider all these as we rightly remember and condemn a gross massacre’. Mark Durkan MP


It is important to remember such tragic events so that we can learn tolerance and ensure that we can learn tolerance and ensure that we can live together in peace. This should never happen’. Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire

‘We will remember them’. Sgt Saheed Khan


‘Dear all at the Remembering Srebrenica team. Thanks for all your hard work. Visiting Bosnia and learning about Srebrenica will stay with me forever. May the memory of the victims never be forgotten’. Myriam Francois-Cerrah


‘It has been a privilege for us to commemorate with you today. A truly beautiful service. Thank you’. Trevor and Daniella Pears

‘Thank you for the opportunity to be here’. Sabrina Pears

‘Their memory will live and continue to inspire us’. Laetitia van den Assum, Dutch Ambassador to the United Kingdom

‘Thank you to those that made Remembering Srebrenica an experience that we could share and understand first hand. We hope to help others do so as well’. Coleen Graffy

‘A fine service – we must not forget the horrors of war’. Lord Mayor of Coventry, 2015-16

‘We must not forget the victims and work together to honour their memories in our communities’. Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw

‘I pray to almighty God that he give peace and solace to the people of Srebrenica and that they find harmony and reconciliation in their homes and hearts. May God’s justice and mercy always prevail, and may genocide never again find a place in this world’. Imam Asim Hafiz OBE, Islamic Religious Adviser to the Chief of the Defence Staff.

‘Honoured to be part of a delegation to Srebrenica and part of the commemoration service. An experience I shall never forget! We will never forget the victims or their stories, and hope we can learn important lessons so that such a tragedy never repeats itself’. Ilknur Kahraman

‘Thank you for keeping the memory of the tragedy and loss of human life alive in our hearts and minds. Injustice and oppression is still with us but through initiatives like this, we can fight against this together and struggle towards justice and security for all’. Remona Aly

‘Very moving.  Never forgotten’. Councillor Steve Cardownie, Edinburgh City Council

‘Beautiful service. May we all remember these terrible atrocities’. Jo Gregory

‘I wish healing and peace for all in Bosnia. I pledge my kindness and love and to listen to the stories of Srebrenica and all who experience injustice and suffering’. Cat

‘A very powerful and moving event. I am so proud of the work that the Scottish branch of Remembering Srebrenica had done’.

‘Very moving service. Hopefully lessons can be learned and people can become more tolerant and accepting because of this’.

‘I will never forget the mothers’ testimony and express on behalf of the people of Aberdeen our thoughts for all those who suffered in Srebrenica’ Representative of the Lord Provost of Aberdeen

‘Thanks to everyone who played a part in today’s event. Very poignant, very horrifying and salutary. May we never forget’. Kay Morrison, Fife’s Deputy Provost


‘We must always remember the victims and be determined to learn the lessons’. Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland


‘Visiting Srebrenica and meeting the Mothers of Srebrenica was one of the most profound experiences of my life. We must remember and never forget what man’s inhumanity to man can do. And we must resolve to learn the lessons’.

‘Today has been a powerful chance to learn and think about how we all may learn and contribute to the future peace-making. I pledge to go forward with the resolution to the move’.

‘Very powerful experience. I have been moved and will ensure that I share this with those that I meet’. Steve Packhead

‘Remembering this slaughter of the innocent and praying that we can all work together to show that the only way to end violence is through love and hope’.

‘Thank you so much for sharing your stories. The pictures of Srebrenica are still flashing in mind but your work has made my thoughts and emotions profound. Bosnians are our brothers and sisters and we will never forget you’.