Today, April 22, 2015, marks a century since the assassination of one of Macedonia’s most celebrated national heroes, Jane Sandanski. Sandanski is remembered for his leadership during the period of the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries, when the Macedonian people struggled and fought for a free and independent Macedonia.
UMD calls on the leadership in Macedonia to use the ideals and principals Jane Sandanski and our forefathers stood for in order to reach a solution to the political crisis undertaking the country.
“Macedonia for the Macedonians” and “Freedom or Death” were the slogans that Sandanski and other Macedonian leaders during that period rallied the Macedonian people under. He and countless others paid the ultimate price with their lives, while the Macedonian people continued to be divided and ruled by others.
As a result of the struggle and leadership of Sandanski and his contemporaries, through the Ilinden Uprising, and later the WWII battles, Macedonians were eventually able to create an independent state on a portion of geographic Macedonia. The struggles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, however, continue even today in the twenty-first century, as the Macedonian identity is still under attack by the same forces that occupied and divided Macedonia, and negated the existence of a separate Macedonian identity.
Jane Sandanski’s legacy is unmovable, and UMD commemorates his sacrifice for a free Macedonia with an understanding that his struggle still prevails today. Thanks to Sandanski and his contemporaries, we now have a free and independent Macedonian state. Macedonians around the world need to honor his legacy by working together to ensure not only the survival, but also the prosperity of the Macedonian state and identity for centuries to come.
Macedonia was the first multicultural republic in the Balkans in 1903 by promoting universal values of freedom, democracy, cultural, and religious diversity and human rights. It is therefore imperative for the free world to support and integrate Macedonia into regional and global institutions like NATO without any delays or excuses.
The Macedonian people and its diaspora must be forever vigilant to the fact that its hard won freedom and sovereignty needs to be protected from threats and crises as they emerge. The actions of brave leaders like Jane Sandanski serve as an inspiration for perpetual engagement and support for peace, security, and sustainable economic development in the region.