Bruce Dickinson is an honorary citizen of Sarajevo (photo PIXSELL)
(Patria) – Bruce Dickinson, frontman of the legendary heavy metal band Iron Maiden, has been made an honorary citizen of Sarajevo a quarter of a century after he played a concert when the city was under siege.
'It's incredible to be here after 25 years and to see how much it means to Sarajevo citizens. I'm very pleased to to receive this symbolic award. I would like to share it with all Sarajevo people who survived the siege and who were here during the war. With the people in this room. It is really a great honor, said Dickinson.
Mayor Abdulah Skaka presented the award at a ceremony in Sarajevo City Hall, which was badly damaged during the long siege of the city and since restored.
'The arrival of Mr. Dickinson in Sarajevo in 1994 was one of those moments that made us in Sarajevo realize that we will survive, that the city of Sarajevo will survive, that Bosnia and Herzegovina will survive,' said Skaka.
One night in December 1994, Dickinson, with the aid of United Nations soldiers, slipped into Sarajevo and played a concert with his solo band, Skunkworks.
The story of the band’s journey to a city cut off from the world, and the concert itself, was immortalized in the 2017 film 'Scream For Me Sarajevo'.
In his 2017 autobiography 'What Does This Button Do?' Dickinson described the scene in Sarajevo as 'intense' and life altering. His impressions from Sarajevo were described on nine pages of the book. 'It changed the way I viewed life, death, and other human beings', he wrote.
Dickinson dedicated his song 'Inertia' from his album Skunkworks to Sarajevo.
The siege of Sarajevo was one of the longest in the history of modern wars and the longest siege of a capital ever. It lasted 44 months, from 1992 to 1996, which is three times longer than the siege of Stalingrad. At average, 329 projectiles were fired at Sarajevo daily. 11,541 civilians were either killed or died of hunger, cold or went missing, of which 1,601 were children.
Radovan Karadzic, the first president of the Republika Srpska was convicted by the Hague Tribunal and sentenced to life for terrorizing the citizens of Sarajevo and the siege, as well as general of the Army of the Republika Srpska Ratko Mladic and other military high ranking officers of the RS.
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