ST. LOUIS (AP) — About 70,000 Bosnians live in the St. Louis area, and a new monument in the city’s Bevo Mill neighborhood will offer a little taste of their homeland.
The president of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zeljko Komsic, was in St. Louis on Sunday for groundbreaking of a “sebilj,” a kiosk-shaped wooden and stone fountain. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that it is a replica of the sebilj built in 1753 in Sarajevo.
Komsic was in the United States for the U.N. General Assembly last week in New York, and he extended his stay to visit St. Louis and other Midwestern cities with large Bosnian populations.
Komsic told Mayor Francis Slay that the sebilj was a sign of gratitude from St. Louis Bosnians to their adopted city.
St. Louis and other American communities became home to Bosnians pushed from the former Yugoslavia during civil war in the early 1990s. The area of St. Louis now known as “Little Bosnia” has been rejuvenated by immigrants who have opened restaurants and bars and started their own newspaper.
Komsic, speaking in his native tongue, told a crowd of about 200 people that those living in St. Louis told him they were “proud and happy to have Bosnians here,” Komsic said. “And for that, I am proud of you.”
Slay said it was he who was grateful.
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SOURCE: Columbia Daily Tribune