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Plans Announced For Dayton Peace Accords 20th Anniversary

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The city of Dayton and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have announced plans for the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords, the agreement signed in Dayton on November 21, 1995 that ended the war in Bosnia, Herzegovina and Croatia and established Bosnia and Herzegovina’s current constitution.

City Commissioner Matt Joseph says it was hard for a lot of people on the ground at the time to believe the war would really end with these accords, and the fact that it worked was almost a surprise.

“I mean, you think of any one of a number of conflicts going on right now, if we had negotiators here in Dayton right now talking about how to stop it dead in its tracks, and then having it work, you can imagine what kind of achievement that would be,” Joseph said.

Next year’s 20th anniversary will be commemorated with a two-day policy conference and a series of celebrations including a black tie gala. Leading up to the event, organizers will hold a logo-design contest for students in Dayton and Sarajevo to submit original art to be used in the advertising.

John McCance is co-chairing the Dayton Peace Accords at 20 Committee with Matt Joseph.  

"What we accomplished at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the fall of 1995 was remarkable," McCance said in a press release. He noted Dayton’s involvement and engagement with the process."Daytonians embraced opportunities to support the negotiators and the Air Force. We sent pizzas, potato chips, and buckeyes. We held peace vigils, wrote letters, and adorned the halls of the Hope Hotel with artwork made by local school children. It was noticed, it was important, and it something we should never forget.”

Lewis Wallace is WYSO's managing editor, substitute host and economics reporter. Follow him @lewispants.