The address of Dritan Mishto, Chairman of the Pan-Albanian Federation of America VATRA at the celebration of 106th anniversary of Albania’s Independence/
On behalf of the Federation I have the highest honor of wishing you all Happy Flag Day,
Long live our independence!
Today we are witnesses of the ongoing tradition of our Federation’s celebration of Flag Day for 106 years. The community has grown with Albanians coming from all the lands and we are delighted that this day is observed everywhere. Yet nowhere is the celebration more emotional than here at the beloved Vatra (Hearth). Therefore, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and express my deepest gratitude that you have gathered here to honor the flag and the Federation Vatra.
My enjoyment is doubled since in accordance with a 106 year old tradition, the clergy are here. I wish to respectfully acknowledge the presence of Dom Pjeter Popaj, Imam Edin Gjoni and Father Hieromonk Nikodhim who have continuously been with us to foster and safeguard our religious harmony, as their predecessors have done before them.
Gathered ever closer with each other just as we are at this dinner, we demonstrate the strength and progress of Vatra, as the best of the nation’s honor and a powerful moral authority in the Albanian world. Vatra will stand against all those who are mercilessly inflicting corruption, cannabis epidemic, poverty, hopelessness for the future, the massive youth exodus and worse of all, the reversal of the country into the communist era symbols and its mindset. Therefore, just as in the old days when Vatra led the efforts to find solutions for the Albanians issues, so at the present time, we have the same resolve and stand united in order to deal a blow to anyone who tries to take advantage of the country and the people.
Recently, certain individuals have been overcome with “affection” for the Federation Vatra. Yet they don’t show their “affection” by teaming up to shoulder the heavy burdens that are weighing down on Albanians in Albania and in the Balkans. Instead, they exhibit their ‘affection’ with defamations. However, dearly beloved, Vatra is a traveler that will not be stopped in its tracks and will not cease its efforts to fulfill the mission bestowed upon it by history. As Winston Churchill once said: You will never reach your destination if you stop at every dog that barks.”
Thus, Vatra and modern Albania, in their unbreakable bond, will continue to stay the course towards reaching the historic destination by addressing the pending Albanian issues and by bearing witness to the great historic truths.
Which is why every Vatran is morally entitled to exclaim in a thundering voice:
I AM ALBANIAN THEREFORE I AM VATRAN!
I AM VATRAN THEREFORE I AM ALBANIAN!
Long live the Pan Albanian Federation of America VATRA!
Long live Albanians!
God bless the United States of America!
* Fjala e Kryetarit të Federatës Panshqiptare të Amerikës VATRA, Dritan Mishto në Darkën e festimit të 106 vjetorit të Pavarësisë së Shqipërisë