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Crash Victims Honored at Memorial Service in Croatia
Memorial Service at Dobrovnik (DUBROVNIK, Croatia, April 6—Reuters) The bodies of U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and 32 other Americans killed in a plane crash left for the United States on Saturday after a memorial ceremony at Dubrovnik airport. "We can be comforted by the outpouring of grief by people of Croatia and Bosnia. It reflects the hopes placed on Brown's mission," U.S. ambassador Peter Galbraith told mourners. The ceremony was attended by Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, President Clinton's envoy Lauri Fitz Pegado, Bosnian Prime Minister Hasan Muratovic and a delegation of Croatian officials.

Croatia's Tudjman Expresses Sympathy
Franjo TudjmanBrown's military Boeing 737 with 35 people aboard, including U.S. businessmen and goverment officials, crashed on Wednesday on its approach to Dubrovnik airport in rain and fog. Two of the dead were Croatian. "Today when we take our leave from Ron Brown and all other senior U.S. officials, on behalf of whole of Croatia and myself I express my deepest sympathy to the families of those who have perished," Tudjman said. "You will remain forever in our memory," he declared. Tudjman posthumously awarded Brown a high Croatian decoration as a token of gratitude for his efforts to strengthen Croatia's economic ties with the United States.

Some of those who died had been involved in business talks with Croatia and Bosnia. "Today is Easter eve. As Jesus said, blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God. Blessed, indeed, are those who perished on a mission of peace," Galbraith said.

Bodies Bound for Dover AFB
The bodies, laid in coffins wrapped in American flags, were put on board two U.S. C-17 military transport planes which took off for an air base in Dover, Delaware. Although Brown and his entourage were confirmed dead soon after the crash, they would only be formally identified in the United States.

Fitz Pegado said the tragedy would not affect America's efforts to aid the former Yugoslav republics. "We will... set up an office in Sarajevo that will service the area and we will continue to promote what is essential for stability, peace and growth," she said. "I believe Secretary Brown and President Clinton and everyone want us to carry on in full force."

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