CHAIRMAN DRITAN MISHTO’S ADDRESS AT THE 106th ANNIVERSARY GALA OF THE PAN-ALBANIAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA VATRA/
Dear Vatra Members,/
Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen,/
Honorable Representatives of the Community Organizations,/
Fellow Albanians all over the globe who join us today,/
I have the distinctive honor and the great privilege to say to each one of you “Happy Birthday, Vatra!”/
After 106 years of hard work, we are gathered here today, on this unique occasion to celebrate the longevity of our Federation and be more proud than ever.
There is no area of life and activity throughout the Albanian nation where the presence of Vatra Federation is not evident: in the arts and photography, diplomacy, government and state leadership, contributing to the establishment and strengthening of religious communities and harmony, in education, literature and culture, journalism, music and science. The forefathers of our Federation, Konica and Noli, as well as all the forerunner officials and leaders of Vatra have passed onto us a rich legacy which gains new dimensions as the time goes by. Today we bow down with respect for all that has been accomplished by our Federation and express our gratitude and reverence to the known and the unknown members who have empowered Vatra into becoming a driving force with positive and valuable impact for the nation in the most crucial moments of our history.
Fellow Vatra Members,
Vatra’s history and its glorious past do not serve as the main motivation of our current mandate. Each one of us feels the responsibility to be involved wherever possible, with credited or uncredited roles in our support for Vatra today. We shall not rest on our laurels from the past glory days. The present is calling upon us to, once more, lead the path of the good deeds for the nation. Vatra does not deal with politics and is not a political organization. Indeed Vatra is above politics.
Certainly Vatra has all the historical and moral rights to be concerned with the issues that face our compatriots wherever they live.
It is painful to witness the severity of the social situation in Albania. Albanians live without hope, a fundamental factor for progress and advancement. The ongoing immigration, the constant erosion of democratic standards, and the domestic chaos in Albania sadden us immensely. The recent reports of the State Department, by the policy-setting and policy-executing institutions are unfortunately regrettable on account of the country’s cannabis pandemic, unemployment among young people, and the widespread corruption at every level of the administration.
Even more concerning and worrisome is the breach in the relations between Albania and the United States of America. Only in the last five years there have been several flagrant cases of violating these relations by the Albanian Government, which has even positioned itself contrary to the official stand of the American Government. The Federation of Vatra has reacted forcefully and has made its attitude known to the US authorities that we, Vatra members, our supporters and sympathizers around the world favor wholeheartedly the strengthening of the Albanian – American relations. We distance ourselves from any attempt by the current government to weaken these historic ties while increasing the relations with non-Western states that exhibit dictatorial tendencies. Albanians have suffered long enough from their communist dictatorship, with consequences that still devastate our people; thus we fully support President Trump’s policy to increase the authority of the United States on the world arena, particularly the intensifying of US efforts to crack down on dictatorial governments. With regard to its strategy on foreign policy, Vatra is determined to openly advocate and impress upon Albanians all over the world that Albania and Albanians in the Balkans have but only one strategic ally for the ages, the United States of America. On your behalf, I thank the United States Government and President Trump for the attentiveness and the commitment they have shown and will continue to show Albanians.
Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen,
Vatra, The Pan-Albanian Federation of America is well respected by the Albanian community in the US and around the world, today more than ever. Excellent relations with religious institutions, cultural and educational organizations, regional and professional associations are in great standing and will continue to stay strong moving forward. We are helping in strengthening the education of the diaspora’s children, enriching the cultural life of the community and increasing our presence thanks to the wisdom, maturity, experience and influence of Vatra.
We respect all the structures of the Albanian diaspora around the world, we sympathize and urge them to increase their authority and prestige, and we do appreciate the respect and admiration of the Albanian community for Vatra.
Dear Vatra members,
The 106th anniversary is an important year for our Federation on account of the ongoing reforms that aim to revitalize it. We have tapped into capacities with national and international recognition which have opened up new horizons for our beloved Vatras.
We are aware of the importance of Vatra’s economic empowerment and we will soon appeal to entrepreneurs, businessmen and individuals who are keen to revive Vatra economically.
I am grateful to all the members and supporters for sending their wishes from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, California, Canada, Boston, Worcester, California, Texas, Arizona, Maine, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and from across the ocean: Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia, Italy, Greece, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, Australia, France, as well as every place where they work hard to maintain their culture, tradition and the Albanian values. To all the base and the supporters: I thank you for your dedication; you are all good citizens and we will do great work together.
We have the blessing of all honest Albanians around the world and these prayers and blessings make us strong and invincible.
We do not work for the history books, yet history assigns each of one their rightful place, and I believe that all Vatra members will stand on the golden pedestal of Albanianism. Be proud of being a member of VATRA!
Our strength lies in our faith for the future!
Allow me to make an announcement in front of you today, the Pan-Albanian Federation of America Vatra will continue to intensify its efforts and further its initiatives in the service of Albanians.
VATRA’s mission is to SERVE THE NATION!
We will face hardship but we will succeed because time is on our side and time is the greatest power. Time will summon Vatra to tackle the most pressing issues, and Vatra will always be there, at the front and confronting any force that attempts to delay the time for Albanians to march into history.
VATRA will go ahead lighting the path as the Pole Star of Albanians around the globe.
Long Live the Pan-Albanian Federation of America VATRA;
Long Live Albanians,
God Bless the United States of America!