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Petar Šinković

Sep 12, 1967 - Sep 14, 1991(24)

The key in the hero's pocket

Examining the body, he found a small key in his vest pocket. - If he answers our door, it's Peter. - said his brother.

Every year, around Tijelov, in the small town of Kostanjevac at the foot of Žumberačka gora, a mini-football tournament is held in honor of the fallen hero. To the hero who bravely went to defend his homeland at the beginning of the conflict in the nineties.

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His name is Petar Šinković, and his friends and comrades called him "Peco". He was born in the family of Slavica and Toma Šinković as the youngest of three children.

A carpenter by profession, he was only twenty-three years old on the day he signed up for the Special Purpose Unit of the MUP of the Republic of Croatia.

After its establishment, it was transferred to the National Guard Corps, from which the First Guards Brigade popularly called "Tigers" was formed. With his unit, Petar crossed many terrains. He fought in Pakrac, Petrinja, Kostajnica, Aljmaš...

After the fall of Aljmaš, he had a choice. He could go back home. But Petar, at a crucial time, on August 7, 1991, left for Vukovar. He didn't tell the family where he was going, he didn't want them to be afraid.

Before going to defend the city of heroes, Petar spent three days at home. He then left his wallet with his mother, and entrusted his brother to take care of some things. He knew where he was going, and he probably had an inkling that he might not come back from that hell.

He spent his last weeks on Trpinjska cesta, bravely defending Vukovar. He was a favorite among his comrades, and he especially became friends with defender Ivan Dujmović. They called each other "Pajdo", and they wanted to get married.

But on the fateful September 14, '91. the enemy carried out an extremely strong attack on the positions on Trpinjska cesta. On that day, everyone's favorite young man from Žumberka was shot in the face. He died immediately after being wounded, two days after his twenty-fourth birthday.

His body, due to the violent attacks, could not be pulled out immediately. Peter was thus buried in a mass grave. The family did not know about Peter's fate for a long time. And when the news of the death arrived, they carried a grain of hope. They believed that Petar, whose body was not found, might still be somewhere, if in the camp, but at least alive.

Their hearts were broken in 1997, when the bodies of their brother and son were discovered when a mass grave was discovered. He had a silver chain around his neck, and a bulletproof vest on his chest. The wounds matched, the fracture on the arm matched the description, but there was still a doubt...

Examining the body, the doctor found a small key in his vest pocket. - If he answers our door, it's Peter. – said his brother Tomo.

By opening the door of the family home, the door of hope that Petar is still alive is closed. But like a key to a lock, Peter's story perfectly matches the hero's story.

He was a brave soldier and a man that his homeland will never forget. His courage and sacrifice will live in the hearts of people, and his name will be mentioned for generations to come, as a symbol of courage and patriotism.

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