RMK Happy 101st Ilinden
Web posted August 01, 2004
Happy 101st Ilinden
By Risto Stefov
August 2st 2004 marks the one-hundred and first anniversary of the Ilinden
Macedonian uprising against the oppressive Ottoman Turks and the sixtieth
anniversary of the formation of the Peoples' Republic of Macedonia.
Ilinden is not just another Macedonian holiday. It is a day that has
inspired the Macedonian people to rise against tyranny not once but twice.
The first time was one hundred and one years ago on August 2nd, 1903 when
our great grandfathers had endured enough of Turkish rule and showed their
displeasure by raising arms against them. Then forty-one years later on
August 2nd, 1944 our fathers and grandfathers rose yet again creating the
foundations of the Peoples' Republic of Macedonia within the Yugoslav
federation, which in 1991 became the independent Republic of Macedonia.
This year, like every year, Macedonians worldwide will be celebrating
Ilinden and remembering the sacrifices our forefathers made to create a
better world for us. It has never been easy to be Macedonian but that is
what we are and have come a long way from the days of the first revolution.
We now have a country to call our own, a point of origin, a place to call
home. We must also not forget that our tiny country is but a small fraction
of what Macedonia was and that many Macedonians are still unrecognized and
to this day live without even the most basic human rights. So when you
celebrate Ilinden this year remember those less fortunate Macedonians and do
your best to help them in any way you can.
Even with all our gains in the last one hundred years, we are still the
victims of many who wish us harm. That is why we must persist, fight back
and carry on the revolution in peace.