A number of foreign diplomats in Bosnia each donated a small, traditional Bosnian coffee cup to an art installation consisting of more than 8,000 cups which the artist fills with coffee for all those killed in the Srebrenica genocide.
Drinking coffee with their family after waking up is usually the first thing people in Bosnia do in the morning. That tradition has turned into a painful ritual that families of the victims who were killed in the 1995 massacre of civilians go through every morning for the past 25 years.
Artist Aida Sehovic has toured the world with her “Where Have You Been” exhibition before finally bringing it to Srebrenica.
Ambassadors of several countries donated a cup on Friday, each also delivering a message.
"We sympathize with the families who lost their loved ones in the Srebrenica genocide,” said US Ambassador Eric Nelson. “Let's honour their memory by choosing justice for the victims, love, not hatred, unity, not division.”
Johann Sattler, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that “as we pay tribute to the victims, we also express our solidarity with the many victims of the torment of the war who are still waiting for their rights.”
“On the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, we call on the authorities to take concrete steps to improve the reconciliation environment in order to overcome the legacy of war," he said.
"We must never forget the loved ones killed in Srebrenica and the lessons their killings teach us about the terrible consequences of hatred," said UK Ambassador Matthew Field.
Haldun Koc, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, said: "We must not forget the genocide in Srebrenica. Lessons learned from the past are the only reminder that tolerance is the only path toward a life together in peace.”
"As we remember those who lost their lives in Srebrenica, it is imperative for us to help create a society that respects life and builds peace. Srebrenica is our reminder for both the present and the future," said Italian Ambassador Nicolo Minasi.
"We must not allow the victims of the Srebrenica genocide to be forgotten. By understanding the past, we can create a better present and a better future for all people based on empathy and tolerance," said Johanna Stromquist, Sweden's Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"The Srebrenica Genocide, a tragedy of humanity, should not have happened. The memory of Srebrenica in 1995 strengthens our determination never to allow anyone to experience something like that anywhere again. The 25th commemoration is an opportunity to boost the healing of the trauma and to let the remembrance lead towards a sustainable reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Austrian Ambassador, Ulrike Hartmann.
"Forgetting the victims would be like killing them for a second time," said Valentin Inzko, High Representative of the International Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"The commemoration of the genocide in Srebrenica is a constant reminder of the difficult and tragic history of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As we remember and pay tribute to the victims of the worst crimes in Europe after World War II, we express hope that, while the people of this country think about the past, they will also direct their words and actions toward the construction of a brighter future for new generations,” said Emanuel Salinas, World Bank Country Director for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"Remember that those killed in the Srebrenica genocide and their loved ones who they left behind never had a choice. Remember that those who committed the murders had a choice, to kill or not to kill. Let Srebrenica serve as a reminder that people’s freedom to choose their behaviour can have horrific consequences for others. May Srebrenica be our motivation for creating a society in which our actions will be guided by the wellbeing of others,” said Peter Van der Auweraert, the head of the International Organization for Migration in Bosnia and Herzegovina.