Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Video: Vidovdan Academy held at the Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago on June 28th, 2013 / Serbian Institute / Video

Vidovdan service at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago
June 28, 2013
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Vidovdan—Chicago 2013
Commemorating all Defenders of Kosovo, and
the Serbian Orthodox Christian Faith and Nation
The Vidovdan Academy was held at the Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church in Chicago on June 28th, 2013 following church services commemorating all Serbs who gave their lives in battle to defend their people--from the Kosovo battle of 1389 to today. Speakers included Dr. Porfirije Peric, Abbot of the Monastery in Kovilj, Archpriest-Protopresbyter Dr. Vojislav Bilbija from Holland and Danielle Sremac of the Serbian Institute.  Special guests also included their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Princess Katherine.
Danielle Sremac, Chicago 2013
Your Most Reverend Excellences, Your Royal Highnesses, honored fathers and guests, brothers and sisters, it is a great pleasure to be with you today especially on Vidovdan—the day on which incredible things happened throughout history and which has such special historical and spiritual meaning for all Serbian people.  It is on Vidovdan that Tzar Lazar led his knights and soldiers in the Battle of Kosovo.  On Vidovdan, Gavrilo Princip sacrificed himself by assassinating Frank Ferdinand prior to World War I which started events that led the Serbian people to freedom.  On that day, the Vidovdan Constitution was created under our monarchy headed by the Karadjordjevic family.  On Vidovdan, during the 600 hundred year anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Kosovo, the Serbian people gathered at Gazimestan to demonstrate that the Serbian national spirit had been reawakened after decades under Communism.

What do all these events and Vidovdan itself mean for the Serbian people?  Vidovdan is not only history, but lessons form history.  Vidovdan tells us that our ancestors were very brave and that the same bravery flows through our own blood, that God created this bravery within us for a reason, that history is long, that the future is unknown, that justice means a great deal to the Serbian people, and that the Serbian people are not a nation that surrenders easily.

I hope that all those lessons are deeply imbedded within us because there are more battles ahead of us.  Maybe they are not battles with weapons, but battles that are conducted in modern times with words, media communications, television, strategic planning, and convincing.

This is the essential reason why we created the new Serbian Institute in Washington D.C.—so that the Serbian people can also have a voice like others in this very important city where decisions are made every day that effect the lives of our people in Serbia, Republika Srpska and Krajina.  Up to now, all ethnic groups from the Balkans, except for Serbs, have had their significant offices and presence in Washington and have promoted their views every day to the US government, Congress, at universities and with the media. We need to be part of that struggle to present our views in Washington.

Our goal is to regularly communicate information which supports the interests of the Serbian people and which relate to our history, culture and current events.  It is very important to present the right positions to members of the US government and to support rights for our people in our homeland regardless of whether Serbian leaders support them or not.  We would communicate these positions to members of Congress and others in the US government, to all the media and academic institutions in Washington which influence US foreign policy.  We would accomplish this through books, information on the internet, through meetings and videos that address specific issues and that would be available online through the Serbian Institute TV channel.

In addition, we need to prepare for what could be described as a major “battle” about to take place next year with the 100th year anniversary of World War I—and that’s the battle to fight against attacks on our history.  There is a vocal anti-Serbian group that claims that Serbs were responsible for that war.  We want to oppose this falsehood which requires substantive work.  Next year, in the days prior to Vidovdan, we would like to lead a group of Serbian Americans through the halls of Congress on Capital Hill, to meetings with members of the media and others in Washington so that they would understand our history and rights of the Serbian people to their historical lands.

We should not accept unfair and arbitrary decisions of certain American politicians who initiated a number of injustices in the Balkans in the 1990s.  This Vidovdan reminds us that the Serbian people are very well aware of their national rights.  We just need to make others aware of our rights as well.  On this Vidovdan, may we be inspired by the spirit of our ancestors who died in a struggle for freedom and to preserve our people and our identity as Serbian Orthodox Christians, so that we too may do what’s right for our people and in support of principles I know we all share.  Thank You.

Danielle Sremac, Chicago 2013


Posted on You Tube by "SerbianInstituteTV"

"Vidovdan Academy held at the Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church in Chicago on June 28th, 2013 following church services commemorating all Serbs who gave their lives in battle to defend their people--from the Kosovo battle of 1389 to today. Speakers include Gospodin Dr. Porfirije Peric, iguman manastira Kovilja, Protojerej-stavrofor dr Vojislav Bilbija iz Holandije, I Danijela Sremac, Predsednik Srpskog Instituta"


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