Merle Wilberding, a senior member of Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A., was part of the City of Dayton Delegation that visited Sarajevo to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords. The delegation was led by Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, City Commissioner Matt Joseph, Montgomery County Treasurer Carolyn Rice, and Sister Cities Chair Hunt Brown. The Dayton City Commission had appointed Wilberding to the Sister Cities Committee a number of years ago.
The Dayton Delegation was invited to a special reception at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, and later toured the Tunnel of Hope that served as a life-line during the Siege of Sarajevo during the heat of the war in Bosnia. Later, the Dayton Delegation toured the National Museum of Bosnia and saw the original of the Sarajevo Haggadah, a magnificent illuminated manuscript created more than 600 years ago in Spain. Later, they joined a group of Bosnian friends for a picnic in the hills above Sarajevo, the same hills in which these friends had been entrenched during the war as freedom fighters as the last buffer between their city and the machine guns of the Serbian forces above them.