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Evening like any other. The streets of Belgrade are full of busy citizens. Unexpectedly, the sound of an airplane is heard. I will fly over Belgrade. An echo is heard. Crack. The planes dropped bombs on my city. On March 24, 1999, at 7:45 PM, the first danger sirens sounded. The now well-known, deafening sound blew the air over Serbia. Over the next 78 nights and days, NATO planes fired about 50,000 different missiles at our country's soil. While NATO planes destroyed everything in front of them, the people hid in basements, finding salvation and hiding in smaller villages, which were considered not visible on the map of NATO aggressors.
In 1999, 19 countries of the Alliance, without the approval of the United Nations Security Council, attacked, first the barracks and air defense of the Yugoslav Army, and then the entire country. Infrastructure, economy, schools, hospitals, cultural monuments, media houses were destroyed ... Scenes of broken Novi Sad bridges are also remembered.
After a series of controversial attempts and offers from the international community to resolve the Kosovo crisis, the first planes took off from the base in Aviano, dropping bombs on military and civilian targets throughout the country for the next 78 days.
The military intervention in the FRY began on March 24 at around 7.30 pm, on the orders of the then NATO Secretary General Javier Solana, and the government in Belgrade declared a state of war that night.
Attention, attention, air danger. Turn off the electricity, turn off the gas, open the windows, lower the blinds, move the curtains. Bring prepared things and slowly descend to your shelters.
The lives of the people of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have changed abruptly since March 24, 1999. The NATO bombing took many lives, houses, buildings, bridges, factories, shrines, cultural monuments, schools, media and health institutions were destroyed ... Numerous protest concerts were held during the bombing. People gathered, sang on bridges and held targets on their chests and banners reading Sorry, we are singing.
In the NATO aggression, NATO planes hit the international express train 393 on the bridge in Grdelica gorge, which was traveling on the route Belgrade - Nis - Skopje.
To this day, it remains unknown why the train with civilians was a justified target of the NATO alliance, whose planes fired 4 missiles at the composition at the moment when the train was crossing the railway bridge on South Morava. The exact number of dead was never determined, but it is assumed that more than 50 people died.
In honor of the dead citizens, a commemorative gathering on the bridge has been organized every year so far, and the train has stopped to pay tribute to the victims. This year, due to the pandemic caused by Covid, there will be no gatherings.
If she were alive, Milica Rakić would be 24 years old today. Her name remained deeply engraved in the people. She was killed on April 17, 1999, when she was hit by shrapnel in a house in Batajnica during the NATO bombing. On that fateful April 17, sirens signaled an air danger. The "Angel of Mercy" has embarked on another of its genocidal missions. Only 45 minutes after that, the rocket hits the house of the Rakić family in Batajnica ... It hits a girl who was not even aware that a war was going on around her, it hits three-year-old Milica Rakić! Little Milica was on a stretcher in the bathroom. bust of Milica Rakić.
In 1996, the rock group Riblja čorba published the song I won' t forgive you about the children . During the bombing, it gained a new meaning, and today it stands as a memory for all the children who died in Yugoslavia in 1999.