ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- The soccer match at Busch Stadium between the national teams of Argentina and Bosnia-Hertzegovina will take place tonight.
This game carries a special meaning for the tens of thousands of Bosnians who fled their country after the war and genocide there two decades ago.
Argentina has won the World Cup twice. This is the first time a team from Bosnia-Hertzegovina has even qualified for the World Cup. Mismatch? Not in the hearts and minds of thousands of Bosnians who'll be packing Busch Stadium tonight.
Bosnians from throughout St. Louis, the United States, and Europe have arrived here for this match. They'll be cheering for the Bosnian team of course.
But in a sense, they're cheering that Bosnia even exists. And with every pass and kick and header, a small part of them will cheer for the dead for the 100,000 who can't be here because they died in the Bosnian war and genocide in the 1990s. They'll cheer for themselves and other Bosnians who were scattered around the world as refugees after the slaughter ended.
Something big, of course, is next year's World Cup in Brazil. But tonight, that something big is the celebration of Bosnia being an independent country and a celebration of all those who are alive to see it.