DETERMINED PATRIOTS MAKE CONDITIONS
THEY DO NOT ALOW THEMSELVES BECOME VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES
Croatian emigre communities have always been characterized by their altruistic work and struggle for the improvement of life of the average Croatian citizen. Through decades, often facing difficult challenges, devoid of any personal interest except almost naïve love for their native country, often paying for such behavior a high price, these good people subordinated their own needs and interests to the thesis of freedom and independence of Croatia.
4 th of April of this year marked a pertinent formal signing of a document in the city of Sacramento, California, 54 years ago. The year was 1968. In the native Croatian homeland there were captivating debates among the students, workers and intellectuals. The Declaration on Language which had galvanized every person who understood its depth and meaning had not yet attained its first year of life. None of the patriots like Budiša, Čičak, Veselica or Gotovac even suspected that soon they would be paraded through communist state
courts, or even less believed that they would be defended in the free world, on
American television, by Croatian residents of Northern California.
On the other side of the ocen, USA was undergoing rapid and drastic social
changes: Senator Bobby Kennedy had announced his candidacy for president of the country not suspecting that he would be assassinated two months later. At the same time, Martin Luther King, a champion of human rights, was assassinated on the same day of signing of the California document , April the 4 th. Within this context it was difficult to be a Croatian patriot in exile; indeed, much more than it is so today. The pressure on the Croatian individuals and communities was exercised by the entire federal establishment, the diplomatic, financial and news elites, and particularly so the diplomatic consular representatives of communist Yugoslavia.
Despite all these adversities, with persistence and clear argumentation, a group of patriots succeeded in presenting, clarifying and by pure argumentation fully defending the presentation of the project Proclamation of the Croatian Statehood Day in California.
Follows the text of the document:
Signing the document of the proclamation of Croatian Statehood in California in 1968, from left to right:
Tadija (Ted) Pavic, Ca Rep. Crandall, Fr. Petar Topic, Governor Ronald Reagan, Nikola Kirigin.
From left to right: Parliamentarian Crandall, Tadija “Ted” Pavić,
Ivka Barilović, Gov.Ronald Reagan, Nikola Kirigin-Chargin, Fra. Petar Topić.
State of California
P R O C L A M A T I O N
Whereas The Croatian nation, ever since its early beginning in the
Seventh century, has had to fight to preserve freedom and
Independence, and in the pursuit of democratic processes
created, more than a thousand years ago, one of the oldest
elected parliamentary bodies, the Sabor; and
Whereas Croatia is presently subjected to force and terror exerted by
Yugoslavia which has prevented the election of representatives
to the Sabor and has deprived Croatians of the basic human
rights of self-determination, free elections, economy, culture,
religion, and even language; and
Whereas More than 150,000 Americans of Croatian descent live in
California, participating in economic, cultural and political
developments of the Golden State and always maintaining their
vigilance against Communist aggression by sharing their
knowledge and experience;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA,
do hereby proclaim April 10 th as the CROATIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY to
honor these Californians and invite all citizens to give renewed devotion to just
aspirations of all people for national independence and human liberty.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have
hereunto set my hand and
caused the Great Seal of the
State of California to be affixed
here this 4 th day of April One
Thousand Nine Hundred Sixty
Follows the signature of Ronald Reagan, Governor
and testimony signature of Secretary of State
Follows the Great Seal of the State of California
The unique importance of this document is that it came into being two decades before its time. Governor Ronald Reagan later became one of the most successful presidents of the United States; together with Pope Paul and Premier Margaret Thatcher, he was the most important participant in the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“Determined patriots make conditions;
they do not allow themselves become victims of circumstances”
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