100 years ago today the little country with a huge heart stood up to a much larger European power. The little country was Serbia, she refused to be ‘annexed’ and ‘occupied’ by the Austro-Hungary Empire. The Serbs believed, just as our Founding Fathers, that men had the right to determine their own destinies and that freedom was worth fighting for. When the little country of Serbia stood up to her aggressor, she showed the world that some ideas were worth the fight and were larger than any invading army. It was not an easy fight, nor was it short or civilized, for those are not the way of war. It was the heart and soul of each Serb that supported her cause and did in fact aid in her ability to hold out against such insurmountable odds.
During the days of this struggle of the Serbian people in a land far removed from American Shores, it was the original spirit of America that stood with them and is best remembered in these words by then President Wilson;
On Sunday, 28th of this present month, will occur the fourth anniversary of the day when the gallant people of Serbia, rather than submit to the studied and ignoble exactions of a prearranged foe, were called upon by the war declaration of Austria-Hungary to defend their territory and their homes against an enemy bent on their destruction. Nobly did they respond. So valiantly and courageously did they oppose the forces of a country ten times greater in population and resources that it was only after they had thrice driven the Austrians back and Germany and Bulgaria had come to the aid of Austria that they were compelled to retreat into Albania. While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken. Though overwhelmed by superior forces, their love of freedom remains unabated. Brutal force has left unaffected their firm determination to sacrifice everything for liberty and independence.
It is fitting that the people of the United States, dedicated to the self-evident truth that is the right of the people of all nations, small as well as great, to live their own lives and choose their own Government, and remembering that the principles for which Serbia has so nobly fought and suffered are those for which the United States is fighting, should on the occasion of this anniversary manifest in an appropriate manner their war sympathy with this oppressed people who have so heroically resisted the aims of the Germanic nations to master the world. At the same time, we should not forget the kindred people of the Great Slavic race–the Poles, the Czechs and Jugo-Slavs, who, now dominated and oppressed by alien races yearn for independence and national unity.
This can be done in a manner no more appropriate than in our churches.
I, therefore, appeal to the people of the United States of all faiths and creeds to assemble in their several places of worship on Sunday July 28, for the purpose of giving expression to their sympathy with this subjugated people and their oppressed and dominated kindred on other lands, and to invoke the blessings of Almighty God upon them and upon the cause to which they are pledged.
Woodrow Wilson, President
The White House, July 1918
If as an American you managed to get through that speech without the slightest hint of shame or guilt or feeling of smallness, then you have lost all of the spirit that built this once great nation. For those of you that think that America is still the ‘Greatest’ nation on Earth and deserving of the title of ‘Superpower’ let me point out the basic tenant of the founding of America and of her foreign policy up till 100 years ago, when She sold out and lost her honor and valor and integrity;
It is fitting that the people of the United States, dedicated to the self-evident truth that is the right of the people of all nations, small as well as great, to live their own lives and choose their own Government…
Whether we adhere to the truth or not, it is still truth that it is the RIGHT of the people of ALL nations to live their own lives and choose their own governments. It is NOT the right of this country or any other country to impose by bribery, intimidation, or force their own will for their own gain over the people of another country. And it should NEVER be accepted by the people of any nation that their government allow such incursions against their sovereignty.