Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ten years later....


Today (actually later tonight, my time) marks the 10th anniversary of the NATO bombing of Serbia. The top photo was one I took from my back porch after my husband and I had been awakened by several rolling, thunderous explosions that rocked our bedroom. This photo is only one of many I took either downtown or else from my front or rear porch as the bombing continued over 78 days.
In the bottom photo, you can see that much has changed. I no longer have a direct view on the entire plant, but now there are auto dealerships, an exposition hall, apartment buildings, and business headquarters across the way. How times have changed...
Remember this post of mine?

23 comments:

koala said...

I'm surprised you didn't leave town but I'd love to see more of your older photos.

Tash said...

What a completely horrible sight! I cannot imagine living thru that. Thank goodness for the change that's taken place. My parents (as children) lived thru WWII bombings - before they knew each other, Mom in Beograd & Dad in Zemun. I hope it was the last one there - ever.

~Cheryl said...

I'm so sorry. 78 days! I cannot imagine that.

Joni said...

I can't imagine seeing something like that with my own eyes and so close to your home! Scary! Thanks for the photo history!

Antjas said...

After WWII, they said never again, not in a civilized world, but we never seem to learn our lesson. Hatred, misunderstanding and distrust are such powerful emotions. My parents saw it in Zagreb back then, so it's hard for me to imagine someone my age having to live through it again. You must have been so worried for your children.

Virginia said...

How frightening for all of you . Oh my. YOur photos are so compelling.
V

Jacob said...

My God, that must have been a horrendous experience...looks like the whole world is on fire...

Quite a contrast from now...

Thanks for showing these!

MuseSwings said...

What an experience! I cannot imagine it. But your beautiful city has grown from the ashes!

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

wow. and for 78 days, how did you manage? thanks for sharing these and the before and after is nice to see what has been rebuilt.

Adam@BalkanFile said...

Thanks for sharing the photo, Bibi. Living in Belgrade for several years now, I really can't comprehend what it must have been like here and across the rest of Serbia during those months.

It's humbling to think that virtually everyone over the age of 10 experienced such a terrifying situation.

Marie Reed said...

What an inferno! I would have been scared out of my wits!

Debby said...

Someday, I would like to hear that story. It must have been terrifying. What did you do? Did you have power and utilities? How did you find food? Did you dare go out in the streets?

Anonymous said...

hi bibi,

i´m a anonymus fan of your site. i like reading blogs from foreigners, cause they talk about things one doesn´t realize like that anymore.

of course you are no longer foreigner, but you got that special eye, to show ordinary belgraders things they got used to or unexpected beauty.

it´s quite weird this year for me, cause i often thought about this 78days, even befor all the memorial festivities or i realized it´s a round number of ten years.

i can´t explain why and this feelings where highlighted when the HBO-special about "our" anci was made (but not aired):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7PRuI_TYmk

i was for business in hungary, i fought days and weeks for that visa, i achieved nothing cause the very same day the bombing started, i was freaking out to get back into the warzone, which happend the third day. my parents where save, in a small village, but my girlfriend was in belgrade, and for three days i didn´t know if she was still alive.

the bombing was no surprise, but after the ultimatum, so i thought i have these 4 days that i wanted to stay in hungary.

i really was hysteric - which is unusal for me - to get back to serbia and the hungarian border-patrol was quite surley happy to get rid of me. i´m until today thankfull to this one guy that disobeyed orders and let me through.

as it turned out in the last weeks of bombing, my then girlfriend and todays wife was pregnant with our first child.....

after the mourning period of 40 days we married ...

Becky said...

I love the then and now shots. Incredible.

Chuck Pefley said...

Bibi, I simply can't imagine the reality of your experience.

Thank you and Mr. Anonymous for sharing your personal history.

Thérèse said...

Times have changed, have they really? Yes in a sense.
It was agonizing to try and keep in touch with loved ones at the time.

melody said...

Fantastic photo. It brought a tear to my eye to remember how the serb nation were demonised and punished like this.

richies said...

I can't imagine going through a situation like that.

An Arkies Musings

marley said...

Your post is a reminder of what happened and how things move on. We shouldn't forget things like this or conflicts past and present the world over.

Your comparisons in the photos is a great illustration.

MileKick said...

@melody
But NATO never demonised the Serbian nation, just its administration. Big difference!

koala said...

Didn't You, as a Yankee, had the feeling that your bombed by Your own people?
I know NATO doesn't equal USA but You know...

Erin said...

a very moving post...thank you for sharing this with us. and yes i remember the post you linked to...as i was the first to comment that day.
have a wonderful weekend.

raf said...

A very powerful and moving post, Bibi! Thank you for sharing that important and valuable personal history.