UMD Applauds Congressional Resolution Celebrating Macedonian Heritage

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), the leading non-partisan voice of our nation’s half a million Americans of Macedonian heritage, applauds the introduction of H. Res. 741 expressing support for the designation of the month of September 2022 as ‘‘Macedonian American Heritage Month’’ and celebrating the Macedonian language, history, and culture of Macedonian Americans and their incredible contributions to the United States.

UMD thanks the co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Macedonia and Macedonian Americans Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Lisa McClain (R-MI), and Claudia Tenney (R-NY) for their strong efforts and leadership in introducing H. Res. 741, as well as a founding member of the Caucus, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) for recently co-sponsoring H. Res. 741.

H. Res. 741 states “Since the 1880s, tens of thousands of Macedonians fled to America seeking civil liberties, human rights, religious freedom, and economic opportunities, and in response to the 1903 Ilinden Uprising against the Ottoman Empire, the 1912–1913 Balkan Wars, the two World Wars, the Greek Civil War, and the policies of Communist Yugoslavia.”

To urge your member of Congress to co-sponsor H. Res. 741, click HERE.
H. Res. 741 was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

“H. Res. 741 celebrates the significant countless contributions made by Macedonian-Americans for over a century and recognizes our common and rich Macedonian heritage, which bonds us as a community, we’ve come a long way as Macedonians, and we’re proud of our collective accomplishments,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski.

Koloski added that the resolution “builds on the hard work and efforts of UMD and its members for September 2022 to be embedded into American history as Macedonian American Heritage Month.”

Congressman Boyle stated the following when introducing H. Res. 741 last October:

“As a co-chair of the Congressional Macedonian Caucus, I am proud to introduce this resolution in the House of Representatives to designate September as Macedonian American Heritage month. Macedonian Americans have made countless and significant contributions to our nation over the last several centuries, and this resolution gives them the recognition that is long overdue. I join the Macedonian American community and millions of Macedonians around the world in celebrating this momentous step.”

Last summer, Michigan became the first state in American history to adopt September as Macedonian American Heritage Month. UMD is working with other States, Congress, and the Administration in getting this Month established and observed.

UMD strongly believes that it’s up to us to educate the public on the role Macedonians play in the U.S., and worldwide and that bringing awareness is key to preserving our Macedonian identity.

Full text of the resolution can be found HERE and below:

H. RES. 741

Expressing support for the designation of the month of September 2022 as “Macedonian American Heritage Month” and celebrating the Macedonian language, history, and culture of Macedonian Americans and their incredible contributions to the United States.

October 22, 2021
Mr. Brendan F. Boyle of Pennsylvania (for himself, Mrs. Dingell, Mrs. McClain, and Ms. Tenney) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Reform

Expressing support for the designation of the month of September 2022 as “Macedonian American Heritage Month” and celebrating the Macedonian language, history, and culture of Macedonian Americans and their incredible contributions to the United States.

Whereas there is evidence that the earliest Macedonian presence in the continental United States arrived on or around the year 1492;

Whereas since the 1880s, tens of thousands of Macedonians fled to America seeking civil liberties, human rights, religious freedom, and economic opportunities, and in response to the 1903 Ilinden Uprising against the Ottoman Empire, the 1912–1913 Balkan Wars, the two World Wars, the Greek Civil War, and the policies of Communist Yugoslavia;

Whereas currently the Macedonian community in the United States is a vibrant one that is embedded within the American mosaic, partaking in all walks of life, business, medicine, law, technology, civic engagement, government, the military, education, the arts, culinary world, athletics, and more;

Whereas the United Macedonian Diaspora estimates there are half a million Americans of Macedonian heritage living in the United States, with sizeable communities in Michigan, New York, Ohio, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, California, Arizona, Texas, and Virginia;

Whereas Macedonian-American immigrants contributed to building monumental American transportation routes such as the Great Northern Railroad;

Whereas in 1922, Macedonian-American immigrants Tom and John Kiradjieff, using old Macedonian recipes passed down by their parents and grandparents, created Cincinnati chili, a beloved American dish, which, in 2013, was named one of the “20 Most Iconic Foods in America” by the Smithsonian;

Whereas Macedonian immigrants established their own version of the famous Coney Island hot dog in the early 20th century, which remains a staple dish at Coney Island-style restaurants throughout the Midwest;

Whereas Macedonian-American Stoyan Christowe, who immigrated to the United States in 1911, was an American author, journalist, World War II intelligence officer, and Vermont State Representative (1961–1962) and Senator (1963–1972) and wrote the book “This is My Country”, which was a favorite of President Franklin D. Roosevelt;

Whereas Macedonian-American Michael Alexander (Lazaroff) of Pittsburgh and New York City was a renowned international attorney serving as a legal adviser to many British and Irish government organizations and corporations for which he was honored by Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as a Commander of the British Empire, and as a nonalcoholic, played a leading role in Alcoholics Anonymous from the mid-1950s through 1993 as legal adviser, chairman of general services board, trustee, and trustee chairman;

Whereas Macedonian-American Jimmy N. Dimos served as Louisiana 4th Judicial District Court judge (1999–2006) and member of the Louisiana House of Representatives (1976–1999), of which he served as Speaker of the House (1988–1992);

Whereas in 2018, Macedonian-American Judge Phil Naumoff of Mansfield, Ohio, was elected as Richland County Common Pleas Court Judge;

Whereas in 1995, Macedonian-American Ljubica Z. Acevska of Mansfield, Ohio, and Washington, DC, became the first Macedonian Ambassador to the United States;

Whereas Macedonian Americans have contributed greatly to the United States economy, creating countless jobs for the American people in their communities;

Whereas Macedonian-Americans Mike Ilitch, recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and Marian Bayoff Ilitch, who played a significant role in the civil rights movement and paid for activist Rosa Park’s rent in Detroit for over a decade, opened their first mom-and-pop Little Caesars pizza shop in 1959, which grew into the third-largest pizza chain in the world, are owners of the Detroit Red Wings—coining Detroit as “Hockeytown”—and the Detroit Tigers, and in 2015 made history by giving Detroit’s Wayne State University $50 million, the school’s largest donation ever, highlighting their lifelong dedication to promoting entrepreneurship, education, and the revitalization of Detroit;

Whereas Macedonian-American Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., and chairman of Ilitch Charities, which has given over $220 million from youth development to community revitalization philanthropic grants since 2000, has continued the tradition and vision of his parents Mike and Marian Ilitch to further the global standing of Detroit with the development of The District Detroit, which has grown into a dynamic sports and entertainment district featuring award-winning theaters, four professional sports teams, and three multi-use sports venues, including the state-of-the-art Little Caesars Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Pistons, and world-class entertainment and community events;

Whereas four of the eight women’s names ever engraved on the Stanley Cup are Macedonian-Americans Marian Ilitch (1997, 1998), Denise Ilitch (1997, 1998), Lisa Ilitch (1997, 1998), and Carole Ilitch Trepeck (1997, 1998) all with the Detroit Red Wings;

Whereas Macedonian-American Andrew Peykoff, Sr., of California founded Niagara Bottling, LLC in 1963, one of the largest private water bottling companies in the United States, and the Andrew D. Peykoff, Sr., Scholarship Program has awarded over $1.5 million to American college students, and through Niagara Cares, delivered millions of bottles of clean water for disaster relief efforts in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and Mexico City, as well as providing a $10 million grant for the Jaime Peykoff Follicular Lymphoma Initiative to fund follicular lymphoma research grants, international scientific workshops, and clinical awards;

Whereas Macedonian-American George Atanasoski of Ormond Beach, Florida, who immigrated to the United States in 1970 and was a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, founded Microflex Inc., a manufacturer that supplies a wide range of flexible metal products to large clients such as General Electric, Ford, Siemens, General Motors, Rolls Royce, and NASA;

Whereas Macedonian-American Katrina Markoff, originally of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Champion of Change in Small Business, founded Vosges Haut-Chocolat which was named one of the 10 Best Chocolatiers in the World by the National Geographic;

Whereas Macedonian-American Mike Zafirovski of Forest Hills, Illinois, recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and former Presidential appointee to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, served on the board of Boeing, was President and CEO of Nortel, a global communications technology company and president and COO of Motorola, and during a 25-year career at GE, served as president and CEO of five GE businesses in the consumer, industrial, and financial services arenas;

Whereas Macedonian-American Dr. Leon Speroff of Portland, Oregon, recognized as a giant in obstetrics and gynecology, made significant achievements in reproductive endocrinology, changing how medicine is practiced;

Whereas Macedonian-American Dr. George Daicoff of St. Petersburg, Florida, renowned cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, was a maverick in his field of pediatric heart surgery (“blue babies”) which was just an emerging, unknown field in the 1970s, installed a pacemaker in the smallest premature infant in 1984, and conceived and performed important research that advanced the field;

Whereas Macedonian-American Dr. Peter T. George won three Olympic Medals for the United States in weightlifting, five world championships, and was the middleweight champion at the Pan-American Games, and later went on to become a doctor in oral medicine and pioneered treatments for obstructive sleep apnea;

Whereas Macedonian-American Dr. Jovan Laskovski, of Akron, Ohio, was inducted into the International Society for Hip Arthroscopy (ISHA) in 2013 and became one of 26 surgeons in the United States inducted into ISHA;

Whereas Macedonian Americans have tremendously contributed to American athletics and professional sports, including Vlatko Andonovski, the Head Coach of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team; Sasho Cirovski, the Head Coach of the University of Maryland Men’s Soccer Team; Dino Delevski, a former soccer player for the Milwaukee Wave and current Coach for the Chicago Inferno of the MASL; Stefan Kozlov, a professional tennis player; Kevin Kouzmanoff, a former professional baseball player and current Coach in the Oakland Athletics organization; Cedi Osman, NBA player for Cleveland Cavaliers; Jovan Kirovski, a former soccer player and current Technical Director for the Los Angeles Galaxy; brothers George and Louis Nanchoff, former soccer players in the NASL and MISL; Sandre Naumovski, a MISL soccer player for the Philadelphia KiXX; Pete Stoyanovich, a former professional football player for the St. Louis Rams; Paul Naumoff, a former All-Pro Linebacker in the NFL for Tennessee and for the Detroit Lions; and Mike Vrabel, a former All-Pro and three-time Super Bowl Champion and NFL football player for the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs and current Coach for the Tennessee Titans;

Whereas the Captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League and the 2021 Stanley Cup Winners, Steven Stamkos, is an immigrant from Canada of Macedonian heritage;

Whereas Macedonian-American Pandel Savic served with the First Marine Division in the South Pacific theater during World War II, fighting in the Battles of Peleliu and Okinawa, was quarterback for The Ohio State University taking them to victory in the 1950 Rose Bowl, and went on to play an important role in the golf community and served as the longtime chairman of the PGA’s Memorial Tournament, which he founded with his friend Jack Nicklaus;

Whereas Macedonian-American Nick Vanoff directed and produced famous American musicals, movies, and television shows including “Kiss Me Kate”, “The Tonight Show”, “City of Angels”, “The Sound of Christmas”, and “The Julie Andrews Hours”, and created and produced the annual “Kennedy Center Honors”;

Whereas Macedonian-American Dimitri Dimitrov, formerly with Los Angeles Sunset Tower Hotel, presently with San Vicente Bungalows, is Hollywood’s most famous maître d’ according to Bon Appetit and the Hollywood Reporter;

Whereas Macedonian-Americans Klime and Anita Kovaceski are Miami, Florida’s culinary power couple, and their restaurant CRUST has earned notable recognition, including Open Table’s coveted “100 Best Restaurants in America” for 2017 and 2019 and OpenTable/KAYAK’s “Top 25 restaurants around the world” for 2019, has been voted Miami’s #1 Italian restaurant on TripAdvisor from 2015 to 2020, and in 2020 was named one of the “101 Best Pizzas in America” by The Daily Meal;

Whereas Macedonian Americans contributed to the construction of several dozen Macedonian Orthodox Churches throughout the United States as part of the American-Canadian Macedonian Orthodox Diocese, under current auspices of His Grace Metropolitan Metodi, and have played a major role in other Orthodox Church communities throughout the United States for over a century;

Whereas this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Congressional Macedonian Caucus, founded by former Member of Congress Candice S. Miller, currently co-chaired by Representatives Brendan F. Boyle, Claudia Tenney, Debbie Dingell, and Lisa McClain;

Whereas this year is significant for Macedonian Americans because September 8, 2021, marks the 30th anniversary of the independence of a Macedonian state; and

Whereas the incredible contributions and heritage of Macedonian Americans have helped us build a better Nation: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) supports the designation of “Macedonian American Heritage Month”;

(2) expresses warm congratulations and best wishes to all Macedonian people around the world as they mark Macedonian Independence Day;

(3) esteems the integral role of Macedonian Americans in the economy, culture, and identity of the United States; and

(4) urges the people of the United States to observe Macedonian American Heritage Month with appropriate programs and activities that celebrate the contributions of Macedonian Americans to the United States.

To urge your member of Congress to co-sponsor H. Res. 741, click HERE.

Join UMD/Renew Your 2022 Membership HERE.

Make a One-Time or Monthly Donation to UMD HERE.

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