Ohio city honors diplomat who brokered Bosnia peace accords

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The city of Dayton will honor the longtime diplomat who brokered an international peace agreement worked out in the southwest Ohio city with a plaza dedicated to his memory.

The city has approved construction of the plaza in memory of Richard C. Holbrooke, The Dayton Daily News reported.

The project comes as Dayton prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Dayton peace accords on Bosnia. Holbrooke brokered the agreement worked out in talks at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton.

The accord stopped a war between Bosnian, Croat and Serb forces in the Balkans of Southeastern Europe.

City officials have approved construction of the plaza to be built along the Richard C. Holbrooke Memorial bridge. Keith Steeber, a Dayton civil engineer, says the roughly circular plaza will have a 60-foot diameter and enough room for 15 to 20 people.

Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph said the plaza will likely be dedicated in November and is expected to include plaques with historical information and the flags of the United States and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“It’s going to be a small, relatively simple memorial plaza, remembering Ambassador Holbrooke’s contributions, his wonderful career and also the fact that he negotiated the peace accord here in Dayton,” Joseph said.

Event committees are meeting and nailing down locations and logistics for the communitywide celebration of the accords, Joseph said. The Mayor of Sarajevo, Ivo Komsic, is expected to be on hand for a Nov. 17 dinner hosted by the Dayton Council on World Affairs and the Sister Cities organization.

Holbrooke died after aortic surgery in December 2010. His widow, Kati Marton, is expected to be at the dedication.