This is an important centennial marker and represents the way it should always be, as Serbia has always been a loyal ally of the United States, no matter what, and for over a century Serbs have been coming to America to become loyal, dedicated, and productive citizens of the U.S.A.
From the U.S. Embassy in Serbia website:
"Americans clearly expressed their support and sympathy for the Serbian people from the very beginning of the Great War. During 1914, 1915 and 1916, enormous financial support and thousands of tons of humanitarian aid were provided to the Serbian people from the United States. There was money for food for civilians, for refugees, to fight typhoid, seed to plant for the next harvest, agricultural tools, and even funding to lease refugee transport ships.
"The United States of America officially celebrated July 28, 1918 as “Serbia Day.” On July 27, U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing called on every American citizen to, “gather on Sunday, July 28 in their churches in order to express their sympathies toward this enslaved nation (Serbia) and their oppressed brothers in other countries and to invoke the blessing of the almighty God for them and cause that they are fighting for.” Thanks to a report by the Serbian Ambassador to the United States and an article published in Detroit News, we know today that, “over the White House and other public institutions waved the Serbian flag for the first time.” Other than the American and Serbian flags, only one other has been flown over the White House. That was the French flag, on the 131th anniversary of the fall of the Bastille, on July 14, 1920."
Serbian Ambassador Mihajlovic sends detailed report to the Serbian MFA on the Serbian Day in Washington, including the description of the Serbian flag being raised above the White House.
FULL TEXT OF U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE ROBERT LANSING'S MESSAGE REGARDING THE SERBIANS IN JULY 1918:
"On Sunday, 28th of this present month, will occur the fourth anniversary of the day when the gallant people of Serbia, rather than submit to the studied and ignoble exactions of a prearranged foe, were called upon by the war declaration of Austria-Hungry to defend their territory and their homes against an enemy bent on their destruction. Nobly did they respond.
"So valiantly and courageously did they oppose the forces of a country ten times greater in population and resources that it was only after they had thrice driven the Austrians back and Germany and Bulgaria had come to the aid of Austria that they were compelled to retreat into Albania. While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken. Though overwhelmed by superior forces, their love of freedom remains unabated. Brutal force has left unaffected their firm determination to sacrifice everything for liberty and independence.
"It is fitting that the people of the United States, dedicated to the self-evident truth that is the right of the people of all nations, small as well as great, to live their own lives and choose their own government, and remembering that the principles for which Serbia has so nobly fought and suffered are those for which the United States is fighting, should on the occasion of this anniversary manifest in an appropriate manner their war sympathy with this oppressed people who have so heroically resisted the aims of the Germanic nations to master the world. At the same time, we should not forget the kindred people of the Great Slavic race–the Poles, the Czechs and Jugo-Slavs, who, now dominated and oppressed by alien races yearn for independence and national unity.
"This can be done in a manner no more appropriate than in our churches. I, therefore, appeal to the people of the United States of all faiths and creeds to assemble in their several places of worship on Sunday July 28, for the purpose of giving expression to their sympathy with this subjugated people and their oppressed and dominated kindred in other lands, and to invoke the blessings of Almighty God upon them and upon the cause to which they are pledged."
U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing
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