with Baba Mim....
Check out my other websites too:
Not Retired From Learning! http://www.notretiredfromlearning.com
Bizic Education Enterprises.
"The Power of Three"--> www.mimbizic.com
And the Moon Township Historical Society website:
George Vujnovich, a former U.S. Army Major and businessman, died peacefully in his home in Jackson Heights, April 24, 2012. The 96 year old would have been 97 on May 15, as he was born in 1915, to Serbian immigrant parents, Mane and Cvjeta Vujnovich, who immigrated to the United States in 1913 from the village of Vitunj near Ogulin, in Lika. He had two younger siblings, Peter and Mary. Mary passed away in 2009.
The man who worked so diligently with the late +St. Bishop Nikolai to make St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City a reality, was facing the altar one last time. An "opelo" or requiem funeral service for the departed +George Vujnovic was movingly conducted by V. Rev. Fr. Djokan Majstorovich (Cathedral Dean) and Fr. Vladislav Radujkovich, of St. Sava's New York Cathedral, and retired, long-time serving priest of the parish V. Rev. Toma Popovich, and V. Rev. Dr. Luka Novakovich, a guest from Belgrade. Their beautiful and harmonious singing certainly eased the sorrow of the family members and other mourners present, knowing the distinguished clergymen were offering final prayers on behalf of the man who served as President of St. Sava's Cathedral for ten years and was always working for his church and Serbian people everywhere.
Exquisite floral tributes surrounded the wooden casket, but the arrangement sent by Michael Djordejvic (Past President of the Serbian Unity Congress) and long-time friend bears special mention as the red/blue/white flowers formed a Serbian flag, scented and symbolic on many different levels, reminding us of just who George Vujnovich was, and what he represented to so many. From the time of his birth on Pittsburgh's South Side until his death at age 96, first-class American George was always proud of his Serbian heritage. The flowers reminded us. He met his beloved wife and soulmate, Mirjana Lazich, an English literature teacher, while studying in Belgrade, Serbia. The painted daisies made us remember. He was in charge of the incredible rescue operation known as "Operation Halyard" that successfully brought 512 U.S. airmen safely home from Nazi Germany occupied Serbia. The flag was surrounded by green laurel leaves, reminding us of George's heroism. George was a member of the Serb National Federation from birth and a founding member of the Serbian Unity Congress. He helped the Serb National Defense bring refugees from Serbia to America for decades, and so much more! The floral flag was a reminder of George's passion to do all in his power to help Americans and Serbians, no matter where they lived, all his life.
At the end of the church service, there was a military service with the playing of "Taps," and the American flag was presented to daughter, Xenia.
At the church hall afterwards, George's neighbors were present to pay their last respects. Mary Kelly Brown, Madga Vassilev and her son George Vassulev saiid that George knew EVERYONE in the neighborhood. He knew the grocer, baker, the barber and all other shop owners and their extended, multi-generational families well. "He had an uncanny memory!" recalled his good friends George Knezevich and George Crozak, also members of St. Sava's.
Both men also spoke about George at the Mercy Dinner held afterwards in the St. Sava's Hall adjacent to the Cathedral. Knezevich noted how they were friends for 53 years, calling Vujnovich's a great humanist, who continuously fought for truth and freedom, deeds that brought him happiness as well as sorrow during many trials and tribulations. George Knezevich had prepared the "Zhito" and his wife, Ljiljana, the pogacha in loving remembrance. Noting George's relentless fight on behalf of his beloved Serbian people, Knezevich announced: "There's an old Serbian saying that asks, 'Who is going to go before Milosh?' GEORGE will!" he proudly proclaimed on behalf of his leader and friend.
Knezevich recalled how grateful he was to have gone with Vujnovich to Ravna Gora in Serbia and with Father Luka to the Patriarchate in Belgrade when they presented the "Legion of Honor" Medal posthumously to General Dragoljub Mihailovich by U.S. President Harry Truman, to Mihailovich's daughter. The award was hidden for decades by the U.S. State Department in order not to displease Yugoslav Communist leader, Tito.
Photos from Funeral found on my FB page:
Aleksandra Rebic graciously shared this letter from Senator George Voinovich that appears on her website blog about General Draza Mihailovich: www.generalmihailovich.com
Click lower right hand corner to enlarge letter--->
Thanks to the efforts of MANY people, led by Nenad Milenkovich, U.S. Congressman Joseph Crowley, Shawn Hodjati, Lt. Col. Steve Oluic, the S.U.C., Dana Maksimovich, Milton Papich, Mim Bizic, Aleksandra Rebic, etc.........
Click lower right hand corner to enlarge---->
Capt. Vujnovich's daughter speaking on behalf of the Vujnovich Family....... 10/17/10, NYC
Click lower right hand corner to enlarge ----->
Reason: For Meritorious Achievement
Permanent Orders 242-37 August 20, 2010
Congratulations, George Vujnovich!
Read more about George at this site of
Capt. Vujnovich's daughter speaking at St. Sava's Cathedral Hall as George accepts his Bronze Star Award from the U.S. Government, 66 years later.
Here is a link to the CBS coverage of the event:
Allegheny TIMES (Front Page) 10/19/10
An earlier story by Torsten Ove in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Nov. 23, 2008
Another Post-Gazette article of July 31, 2009, by Jack Kelly
Gregory Freeman, author of the book THE FORGOTTEN 500, which detailed George's pivotal role in Operation Halyard, is hown here at the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC.
His famous book:
Here's the author's website:
The names of the winners of the contest seen here were printed in the American SRBOBRAN in their entirety on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009
Michele Popadich, age 15, Chicago Illinois.
Jovanka Potkonjak, age 11, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Marica Potkonjak, age 15, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Andjelka Potkanjak, age 12 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Djuka Potkanjak, age 14, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Vasilije (Vaso) Katanic, age 10, Hermitage, PA (Farrell)
Dusica Solic, Age 15, Hermitage, Pennsylvania
Natasha Ignatowski, Age 11, Franklin, Wisconsin
Peter George Majetich, Age 12, Poland, Ohio.
Congratulations to ALL of the young people who entered this contest, including those listed above and also to those who entered the contest and submitted their fine book reports for consideration. Just by entering, you proved yourselves true sons and daughters of Liberty!
Thank you all very, very much!
It was a busy time for men in THE FORGOTTEN 500 this summer/fall 2010.
While George Vujnovich was being awarded THE BRONZE STAR, Captain George (GOV) Musulin was being inducted into the
Military Hall of Fame.
Thanks to Frank Lashinsky for sending this post:
"The above link takes you to a newspaper story, that tells the story of recent honors awarded to George Musulin."
And meanwhile, back in Serbia, this video was being made of the Heavenly Cottages (Rajski-Konaci) near Pranjani. The man featured here, Slobodan Jevtovic, is one of the fellows, who along with his family helped CHARLIE DAVIS, one of the rescued airmen, for 3 months (hiding, feeding, guarding him with their lives!) This is now a 4 star village household and a place of exceptional village tourism. These cottages are in the village of Leusici, 30 km from Gornji Milanovac and Cacak, nestled among flowery meadows and orchards, hidden within the shades of an old plum orchard. Its been called an authentic paradise surrounded by the creeks and springs of crystal clear drinking water. Besides the great water, Lt. Col. John Cappello attests to the great KAYMAK they make here!
Tony Orsini, Tomislav Djurdjevich, and George Vujnovich, 10/17/10
St. Sava Cathedral, NYC
St. Sava's website:
Inside of St. Sava's Cathedral in NYC
Mim, thanks for sharing this with us. This is a moving story (George Vujnovich & Operation Halyard). Of course, I knew about this rescue, but what I didn't know was that this has been the largest air rescue of American soldiers behind enemy lines in any war!
We owe these heroes to remember them, military and civilian alike, those who are still living and those who have passed away. They are the beacons of courage and humanity, they are human bridges of goodwill, they give meaning to the word 'mankind'. We need to cherish the memory of their noble action for generations to come.
Post this into your Browser to see George Vujnovich accept his Bronze Star Award