UMD Celebrates 18 Years of Macedonian Independence; Commemorates Our Forefathers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 8, 2008 – Today, the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) celebrates the Republic of Macedonia’s Independence Day.  “As we mark eighteen years of Macedonian Independence, we call on all Macedonians worldwide to commemorate those who gave their lives, or fell victim, in our long struggle for sovereignty and survival as a nation and people,” stated UMD President Metodija A. Koloski.  “It was the dream of those who fought and long dreamt of a free and independent nation for their children, grandchildren, and future generations of Macedonians that made our homeland a reality.”

Eighteen years ago, on September 8, 1991, the people of the Republic of Macedonia declared their independence from Yugoslavia and fulfilled the longstanding dream of a free and independent Macedonian nation-state.  UMD honors all those who worked for the establishment of the Republic of Macedonia and who are working to insure its future progress and prosperity.

The Republic of Macedonia’s transition from a constituent republic of a failed communist state to a modern European democracy devoted to the rule of law, individual liberty, civil rights for all citizens, and free-markets in less than eighteen years is remarkable.  Today, Macedonia serves as an example for all of its neighbors in such arenas and as an example of a Balkan nation that promotes regional peace and stability by sincerely pursuing good and neighborly relations with all of its neighbors.

While Macedonia and its people face many challenges, UMD is confident in the ability of Macedonia’s people to meet such challenges.  UMD shall continue supporting Macedonia as it expands its role as a source of freedom and stability in Southeast Europe and looks forward to the day when Macedonia takes its well-deserved place within both NATO and the EU.

“On this day, we would like to reiterate the words of Macedonia’s President Gjorge Ivanov that we, the Macedonian Diaspora, are informal Ambassadors for our homeland,’ added Koloski.  “Macedonians can play an important role for the future of Macedonia not only by educating non-Macedonians about the beauties of our heritage, but also by visiting and investing in Macedonia’s economy.”   

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