Vidovdan Commemorated by US Officials;
Albanians Send Death Threats
Dear Serbian-American Patriots,
As commemoration of Vidovdan commenced this past weekend, one of the most important dates for us Serbs, signifying the day when the Serbian Army beat the Ottoman Army on the field of Kosovo and Metohija in 1389, defending the gates of Europe, we are very encouraged by the small but very significant steps we as community are making in order to have our voices heard in the United States. As Serbs arrived to this continent in the 1800s, we have made incredible contributions to the founding fabric of this nation, and it is a very monumental progress to have our traditions and history recognized and commemorated. An incredibly positive message came from Chicago for this Vidovdan, as members of our community engaged directly with the Mayor's office, and as a direct result of their commendable efforts, Vidovdan is now recognized as the official holiday in Chicago. This information was directly confirmed by the Press Office of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and as members of the Serbian-American community we are thankful for this recognition.
Unfortunately, one greeting and recognition of Vidovdan, while very warmly welcomed by all the Serbs across the globe, served as an incredibly disturbing trigger for the Albanians, including revisionist vitriol by their quasi political leadership. As a result of our continued interface with former Ambassador Richard Grenell, a special Presidential Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo*, he extended a wonderful reminder to all what it meant to honor and commemorate Vidovdan and Serbian heroes and martyrs. His message stated as follows:
After so many decades of demonization and media smears, the reactions from the Serbian community were filled with such positive messages of gratitude and deep hope for a better future in building the bridge between Serbs and Americans. Many could not even believe the magnitude of positivity and recognition extended from the American officials.
Unfortunately, the Albanian reactions, including those from their officials Vlora Citaku and Behgjet Pacolli, were attempting, as they always do, to revise history and claim that the Albanians were a part of the "Balkan Army" that fought Ottomans, and that this had nothing to do with the Serbs. Ambassador Grenell reacted swiftly, doubling down on his initial message and claiming that the Albanians keep inventing ways to get offended. Interestingly, the discomfort in the Albanian circles was instantly felt, as a barrage of negative comments ensued, as they seem to operate under the comforting impression that they exclusively hold the monopoly on the American relations.
The vitriol directed at Ambassador Grenell reached such disturbing levels of bigoted hate, culminating in threats of death and head cutting.
We issued a swift call to action to rally behind Ambassador Grenell, condemning these threats in the strongest possible way. We also want to bring the attention of the world to the kind of people we are dealing with, and while we understand that this is not a view shared by every single member of the Albanian community, the radical elements are indeed capable of carrying out such threats, as the Serbs have been the target of them for decades. If they are able to threaten an US government official, current or former, what can the regular people expect?
This is why we continue forging a common path forward, and encourage our community to engage on every political level and in every possible way, either as individuals or as organizations, given the legal frame under which they operate. We must stand up to fill the decades long vacuum, and make sure that every single one of us has their voice represented.
Please join the fight and let us finally stand together to speak power to the truth of who the proud Serbs really are.
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