On 24 October 1991, the young Croatian defender Mario Svjetličić was killed at Prekopakra on the Pakrac battlefront.
Born on 12 July 1972 in Pakrac, Svjetličić grew up there with his parents and older brother Damir and later completed secondary school for truck drivers. He loved working on motorcycles. Along with his brother, Svjetličić would buy an old, rusty engine, refurbish it through the winter and then sell it in the spring. He used the money to pay for his truck driving exam.
Svjetličić’s nickname was “Sexy” because he always had the most modern clothes that his mother often sewed to measure for him. He remains in her memory as a hard-working, good, capable, very smart and resourceful child who loved to play chess, make pancakes and was talented at drawing and painting. In the summer of 1990, Svjetličić fulfilled his military service in the Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA) as an ambulance driver in Macedonia and Kosovo.
Svjetličić completed his military service and returned home in early May 1991. He and his brother joined the reserves of the Croatian Ministry of the Interior in September and took part in battles on the Pakrac and Lipik battlefronts. In addition to being stationed at Pakrac, Prekopakra and Lipik, Svjetličić also participated in the liberation of the villages of Kukunjevac and Dobrovac. His young life was taken by a mortar shell that inflicted fatal wounds upon him as he took up a position behind a school in Prekopakra.
Svjetličić’s brother and four other defenders were wounded by the same grenade. Dr. “Igla” (eng. needle) Kinčl attended to him quickly but could not save him. His comrades remember Svjetličić as a great patriot and a brave soldier.
Križan, Branko; Benković, Stjepan. Poginuli branitelji u Domovinskom ratu Pakrac-Lipik 1991.-1995. Grad Pakrac i Grad Lipik, 2009
Graduated with a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Zagreb. He has worked at the Croatian History Museum and as a researcher for the popular TV Calendar program for Croatian Radio and Television. He has authored several books and documentaries about Croatia’s Homeland War and is the creator/producer of the immensely popular “It Happened on this Day – Homeland War” Facebook page as well as the online portal Domovinskirat.hr. Borna also edits the Braniteljski.hr portal and is the host and editor of the daily segment “Patriotic Minutes” on Croatian Catholic Radio. He created CroHis to promote the values of the Homeland War and ensure that the sacrifices of those who defended Croatia’s independence would not be forgotten.