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Cedar Valley Bosnian-Americans remember Bosnian genocide

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Alma and Hazmir Hrustanovic have been married for four years. They met each other in Waterloo after both of their families escaped the war in Bosnia. 

"After war ended, knew they needed a new beginning and started the process to get to the U.S," said Alma Hrustanovic.

Saturday marks 20 years since the worst of the Bosnian genocide.

Already thousands around the world are commemorating the anniversary on the route in Bosnia some survivors took to escape Serb forces -- the same route through which 15,000 men and boys managed to escape Srebrenica and flee through the woods.

Hazmir's father tried to escape through the woods, but he didn't make it. 

"Hugs and kisses us and he just said that he will meet us on the other side, not to worry about him," said Hazmir Hrustanovic.

Hazmir never saw him again. 

"That was the last time I seen him just like that," said Hazmir Hrustanovic.

Tired of moving place to place just to survive, Hazmir's mother moved her family to Iowa.

Now, Alma and Hazmir are trying to raise their daughter right here in America. They are giving her a chance at the American dream, but always helping her remember her important past. 

"I feel like it's very important for people to know and remember and just to make sure that it's never happens again," said Alma Hrustanovic.

The Bosnian-American Community in the Cedar Valley will mark 20 years since the Bosnian Genocide on July 11. It will take place at Gallagher-Bluedorn in Cedar Falls from 1 to 3 p.m. 

In Waterloo there will be a "Walk to Remember" from 4 to 5 p.m. at the RiverLoop Amphitheatre, with a religious ceremony and potluck at 7:30 p.m. at the Bosnian Islamic Association of Waterloo.

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