Fifteen years ago this month, the Dayton Peace Accords ended the war in Bosnia. Tonight the city is commemorating the occasion with a dinner at the Hope Hotel at Wright Patterson Air Force base, where the accords were signed. The organizer of the event, city commissioner Matt Joseph says Bosnians today appreciate what happened in Dayton, even though the country still faces problems.
"It stopped the war and no one will every forget that there. But at the same time, they live with the flaws every day of the government structure that was built here, so it's sort of mixed emotions," says Joseph.
Since 1995, Dayton has collaborated on cross cultural initiatives. It signed a sister city agreement with Sarajevo, conducted exchange programs and arts events, and created business partnerships. Joseph wants Dayton to prosper through these ventures, particularly in industries shared between the countries, like advanced manufacturing and alternative energy.
"I'm a Dayton City Commissioner so the first thing is helping Dayton. Some of the same things our folks are working on here they're working on over there. Those things are in the early stages but I hope something will get off the ground and bring some jobs to Dayton," says Joseph.
Saturday, an all day policy forum will be held at the University of Dayton. There will be a variety of panel topics, including local Bosnian immigrants speaking about their experiences. The forum is open to the public.