The Speech of the President of Kosovo, Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu, in the reception organized on the occasion of 12 June, the Freedom DayPrishtina, 12 June 2007 Dear representatives of the institutional and social life in Kosovo, Dear representatives of diplomatic offices, Dear representatives of UNMIK, KFOR and other international organizations in Kosovo, Ladies and Gentlemen: We have gathered today to celebrate the Freedom Day.
Eight years have passed since 12 June 1999 when Kosovo was liberated, after a long struggle for freedom and independence of our country, a struggle that reached its high point in the nineties of the past century.
As our historic leader, President Rugova would say, weve had freedom and de facto independence for eight years now. Now, this year, we will have de jure independence as well.
We have achieved this freedom that we have today through our centuries old efforts in many directions: with an education and cultural system, with a political struggle and an armed struggle.
Our people have built freedom every day, every week, every month and every year of the modern age of our history.
Nevertheless, it was the fighters of freedom and independence that gave much more than the others for the freedom that we enjoy today. Many of those men and women did not live to enjoy the results of the mission theyve accomplished.
We pay tribute to them everlastingly! We pay tribute to those who fell on the altar of freedom and made the most sublime sacrifice of all for their country.
Today, while we celebrate our freedom, we thank from our heart all our friends, who as a part of the biggest political and military alliance in history-NATO, stood by us and removed Serbian regimes machinery of military slavery in the spring of 1999.
They saved us from genocidal policies that endangered the very existence of our people.
KFOR members are cherished by everyone in Kosovo, because they symbolize the uniform of peace and liberty for all the citizens of Kosovo, regardless of their ethnic background.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
In this historic month of June for Kosovo, when President George Bush, the President of a state that led the NATO actions for Kosovo, gave his word that they have decided for the inevitable independence of our country, we the Kosovars, both majority Albanians and the minorities, remain committed to cultivate freedom that would serve to all citizens.
The spirit of freedom around us paves the path for social and economic development, for prosperity and integration within the big family of free nations.
In this Day of Freedom, we reaffirm our commitment that as an independent and democratic state, Kosovo will enter the integration processes in the Euro-Atlantic structures, because it is the respect for the fundamental values of human freedoms and dignity that we have in common.
Therefore: HAPPY FREEDOM DAY! Let us drink in honor of this blessed day.