The ceremony was opened by Lidija Babić, Consul of the 1st class, and then the Consul General of the Republic of Croatia in New York Nikica Kopačević greeted everyone on her own behalf and on behalf of all employees of the Consulate General. He emphasized that this year also marks the 30th anniversary of Croatia’s international recognition and thanked all Croatian veterans and their families, especially those who laid down their lives in the Homeland War, which is the foundation of the creation of a free Croatia. Kopačević also emphasized the importance of the unity of Croats in the homeland and Croats in the diaspora and thanked emigrated Croats around the world and especially Croats in the United States and New York for all they have done to create a free and independent state of Croatia.
In his speech, he also referred to the words of the first Croatian president, Dr. Franjo Tuđman, who said that May 30 was the constitutive creation of a new and democratic Croatian Parliament, which was the beginning of modern Croatia and the long-term dream of many Croats. and emigration. A minute of silence was observed in honor of all the fallen Croatian defenders who built their lives into the foundations of Croatia.
The program of the celebration began with the performance of the American and Croatian anthems, which were magnificently sung by the klapa Astoria from New York, accompanied by Viktor Šarić. Along with the klapa Astoria, everyone sang “God Save Croatia”, and later during the party they were joined by Joško Grbac, a member of the group Dalmati from New York and Croatian-American music artist Tommi Mischell.
The celebration of Statehood Day in New York was enhanced by representatives of the Society for the Preservation of Šibenik Heritage Juraj Dalmatinac (http://www.jurajdalmatinac.com/) led by its president Nikola Grubić, who set up the exhibition Šibenik Through the Centuries and presented the work of the society on rebuilding fortresses and portals in the city center of Šibenik, the Geonucleus project, magazine Juraj and other projects.
Special thanks for preserving Croatian national and cultural identity in New York was given to the Croatian Catholic priests from the Croatian Church in Manhattan and the Croatian Catholic Mission in Astoria, as well as to the Croatian Radio Club NY – “Voice of Free Croatia”, which has been operating in New York for more than 50 years. Among the representatives of the Croatian Radio New York, the celebration was attended by Zvonimir Crnogorac, the oldest member and one of the hosts of that radio since 1972.
(Photos credit: Ane Strazicic Rodriguez)
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