November 19, 2004

Notes From Sarajevo

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SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina — This past July, I was standing under a blistering Bosnian sun in the middle of an immense field outside of Srebrenica as more than 300 men and boys were buried around me. I was lost. In front of me, endless wooden coffins were passed along in one continuous line. To my left, younger men were digging up the earth and making large piles next to each widening hole. Hundreds of women, all wearing black, sat around every tombstone and cried loudly, as is customary in the region, and often desperately hit themselves. Farther away, children were running everywhere unsure of what was happening. Older women fainted, and journalists stood on the cemetery wall framing the scene.