Letter from Iva

(The following letter was written, during the bombing of Serbia, by Iva L., a 21 year old sometime engineering student from Novi Sad, in Northern Serbia. I say 'sometime' because the schools in Serbia were closed after people discovered they were favorite targets of the NATO bombers. I received a copy of this letter from her aunt Barbara, a Serbian-American in Providence, Rhode Island.

All the bridges in Novi Sad across the Danube River have been bombed. One of those bridges has an interesting story. It was built to commemorate the murder, by Nazi troops, of Serbs and Jews. The Nazi's forced these people out onto the frozen Danube and then broke the ice. The victims died in each others arms in the bitter cold water.

To commemorate this terrible unity, the Serbs built a memorial park near the bridge. The park is a huge semi-circle with a row of Stars of David starting on one side and Orthodox Crosses starting on the other; they meet in the middle of the park with a Torah and a Bible. Accompanying the Stars and Crosses are plaques with the names of every Jew and Serb who died in Novi Sad.

Barbara has visited her relatives in Novi Sad and reports that her cousin, Dragan, Iva's father, goes to the park at the bridge from time to time and sits by the Stars and Crosses, and weeps still. Some people mock the Serbs, saying they live in the past. But is it better to forget?

Here is Iva's letter, unedited.)

dear barbara,

i am still o.k. how are you???. they broke down all our bridges.they also did something so we don`t have any water for a week.maybe we will get water next week. they throw down 38000 pounds of plastic explosives on the last bridge.

NATO also throws down lighters and pens what are bombs. many children are dead because of that. we still have food. there are some good things here . we(people) are unique and mad and we can`t wait NATO to come down and have ground fight. we will fight until the last man standing. don`t think i am crazy but i don`t have any other options and i still don`t know how do they think to beat us.

do you know that NATO lost about 100 planes and 80 soldiers. i have just heard that 11 kids were killed tonight in bombing ( Surdulica). NATO destroyed our tv because tv started to show NATO`S crushed planes and dead soldiers.by the way, we shoot down three F-117A planes not just one as NATO says. i know that this war will gonna take a couple years, but after that i will still have time to get married.

all my family is o.k.

i love you a lot and i miss you very much.

your IVA

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