New York City Mayor declares Croatian Heritage Day
- by croatiaweek
- in News
Consulate General of the Republic of Croatia in New York celebrates Statehood Day with flag raising ceremony in New York City
New York City Mayor Eric Adams issues proclamation declaring May 22, 2023 as Croatian Heritage Day
NEW YORK – The Consulate General of the Republic of Croatia in New York celebrated Croatia’s Statehood Day on Monday, May 22 by organizing a special ceremony with the Office of the Mayor of New York City at the historic Bowling Green in the Financial District in Manhattan. The event brought together Croatians from the greater New York metropolitan area as well as those from across the United States and around the globe.
“The Croatians of New York are deeply woven into the fabric of this great city. Ever since the first ship from Croatia arrived in the New York harbor in 1797, numerous Croatians and people from Croatia have found a home right here. New York was an inspiration for them, as they themselves inspired their fellow citizens,” says Nikica Kopačević, Consul General of the Republic of Croatia in New York.
During the program, Ante Jakić, master of ceremony, introduced speakers: the Rev. Saša Ilijic, Parochial Vicar, Croatian Catholic Apostolate of Blessed Ivan Merz, Astoria, New York; Father Lovro Šimić, Parochial Vicar, Croatian Church of Sts. Cyril & Methodius and St. Raphael, Manhattan, New York; and Iva Vukina, President, Association of Croatian American Professionals – New York.
During the ceremony, Peter Radovich, Vice President of Production and Senior Creative Director at CBS Sports, delivered fun facts about Croatian sports like: Brazil has seven million registered soccer players — Croatia has less than 4 million citizens.
The New York City (NYC) Mayor’s office was represented by speakers Commissioner Edward Mermelstein, Mayor’s Office for International Affairs and Commissioner Manuel Castro, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Following the speakers, Nikica Kopačević, Consul General of Croatia in New York, gave a welcome speech that included mentions of famous Croatians in New York like Zinka Kunc Milanov – a soprano who sang at the Metropolitan Opera for 30 years; Roger Maris – the record breaking New York Yankee; Nikola Tesla – a scientist with a mind from the future who changed our world; to thousands of hardworking laborers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators and others who have and who continue to call New York their own.
“From Hell’s Kitchen via Midtown to Astoria in Queens and beyond, Croatian New Yorkers have left their footprint on the Big Apple,” says Consul General Kopačević.
Consul General Kopačević thanked Mayor Adams and gifted him an official Croatian National Soccer Team jersey with his last name and the number 01 on the jersey. Afterwards Mayor Adams spoke about the rich history Croatians have in NYC and presented Consul General Kopačević with a proclamation declaring May 22, 2023 as Croatian Heritage Day in NYC.
“May 30 is an important date that has a special significance in Croatia’s long and rich history. It is on this date that we celebrate our democracy, our liberty, our Statehood Day,” says Consul General Kopačević.
Mayor Adams raised the American flag and then Consul General Kopačević raised the Croatian flag. Klapa Astoria, an A Capella group based in Astoria, Queens performed each country’s national anthem as the flags were raised.
“Today we raise the Croatian red, white and blue and our famous checkers next to the Star – Spangled Banner. As allies, we honor the deep friendship and partnership between Croatia and the United States, our shared values of democracy and liberty. We honor and thank the many thousands of Croatian Americans who have helped shape and build this magnificent city,” says Consul General Kopačević.