#26YearsMacedonia: Celebrating our past, looking towards the future

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) joins the global Macedonian community in celebrating Macedonia’s 26th year of independence. This day represents an opportunity for Macedonians around the world to come together and celebrate as our homeland moves towards socio-economic prosperity and stability.

Today is a day for Macedonians worldwide to recognize the challenges Macedonia has faced and to look ahead to the future – a future that envisions Macedonia as the leader in Southeast Europe. This day also represents an opportunity for all Macedonians to reconnect with our roots and honor those who came before us. Those who established the Republic of Macedonia did so with a vision of a free and flourishing state; this is the legacy that UMD strives to uphold.

Since UMD’s establishment, we have worked diligently to combat the same challenges that Macedonia has encountered since its founding. Our desires to preserve our collective national identity and Macedonia’s name, to promote democracy and human rights throughout the region, and to live in a prosperous and secure international order have been the cornerstones of our mission. More than ever before, we must continue to advocate for these rights – the right to express our cultural heritage, the right to integrate with the wider European community, and the right to join NATO – Macedonia must have a seat at the table without conditions or any changes to the name of our homeland.

Despite the challenges Macedonia has faced throughout the years, UMD has been steadfast in our support of Macedonia’s principles. We strive to give a voice to the global Macedonian community through educational advocacy and cultural outreach. Macedonians in neighboring countries do not enjoy the most basic human rights such as speaking their language, or the right to self-identification. UMD will continue to work on these issues until the human rights of Macedonians everywhere are realized.

As Macedonians around the world come together today to celebrate, let us not forget that it is up to us to carve out the path ahead. Too many sacrifices have been made for a free Macedonia, and we must continue to build a strong motherland. Macedonians around the globe have a role to play both in forging our future and in supporting our shared vision for a unitary Macedonian state with its territorial integrity intact.

United, We Can!