“Hello!” WELCOME to my website!   I hope you find it interesting and enjoyable!

To start you off on your journey of “American Serb History 101” with Baba Mim, what could be more appropriate than viewing the video above of Aliquippa, PA, USA’s very talented tenor, George Milosh, singing his incredible solo,

“Oce Nas” (The Lord’s Prayer) in our beloved

St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church in Aliquippa, PA 15001, which celebrated its 103th Anniversary on August 2, 2017.

There's so much to see and read, you could study this website for days. Be sure to look on the left-hand side for site information that interests you, and then click on it to open that page. You can always return to learn more from the other selections too! Happy hunting for information about the Serbs in America: Their Past, Present, and Future!

(Ervin Dyer, Post-Gazette Staff Writer. “Chronicler pulls together photos of Serbian life and times in U.S.”  Pittsburgh Post Gazette. 20 Jul 2001, pp. C1-C2.) 

St. Sava is to the Serbs what St. Patrick is to the Irish

This site is dedicated to those who voluntarily desire to learn more about the wonderful American Serbian Orthodox heritage, responsibly empowering  them to go on and pass their knowledge on to others.  It celebrates, shares and sustains the vitality of the Serbs (artistry/empathy/inventiveness/big-picture thinking, the American principle of self-determination) for present and future generations.  It promotes the continuity of a culture that has enriched America not only with material wealth, but more importantly, good values.  Respect. Honor. Integrity. Importance of Education are but a few.

Fr. Dragomir Tuba and the children of St. Archangel Michael parish on St. Sava’s Day (Jan.27), Akron, OH , turning the Slavski Kolach, which they celebrated Sunday, January 31, 2010.  Fr. Tuba and his family are now in the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Phoexnix, Arizona. 

        This site highlights the special American/Serb abilities of InnovationCommunication skills,                     

Thriving in a multicultural environment, and Working/Playing with a sense of passion,

and the Power of Perseverance, the ability to overcome adversities through pride & principles.

Imagination, Inspiration, and Enthusiasm for what they believe in.

(Soldiers & Sailors Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, USA: Serbian Folklore Festival, June 13, 2009)


The question was asked of me:  “Why is St. Sava on the front page of your website?                    

Because St. Sava was the TEACHER and ENLIGHTENER of his Serbian people.

Because of Sveti Sava, we have something VERY special, our “Svetosavlje!”

Sveti Sava was the one who first said:
“Give up everything for Christ, But Christ for Nothing!”

Nick Bizic in 1980 with a cake modeled after the flag Nick’s Great-Aunt Ljubica Bjelich made when she was still dreaming about coming to America, from Gornji Sjenicak, Vrgin Most, in Yugoslavia, hence the crossed American and Serbian flags.  “Niko Nema Sto Srbin Imade.”  -“No One Has What the Serb Has.”  The cake was made for St. Sava’s day recitations at St. Eljah Serbian Orthodox Church. 

HYMN TO ST.SAVA (January 27)

Beautiful young ladies from Akron, OH, on
St. Sava’s Day, which they celebrated 1/31/2010
(To see the entire translation of this song, go to the WEBSITE TESTIMONIALS page)

1. Uskliknimo, s’ljubavlju,Svetitelju Savi, Srpske crkve i skole, svetiteljskoj glavi. Tamo venci, tamo slava, Gde nas srpski pastir Sava:

Pojte mu Srbi, pesmu i utrojte. (Repeat)

2. Blagodarna Srbijo, puna si ljubavi. Prema svome pastiru svetitelju Savi. Bosna i Hercegovina, Svetog Save dedovina,

S’tobom slave slavu, Svetog oca Savu.

3. Voyvodina pitoma; Srem, Banat i Backa, Slavonija, Banija, Lika i Krbava, Crna Goro sestro mila, Zdravo i ti, s’nama bila,

Da slavimo slavu, Svetitelja Savu.

4. Milesevo slavi se telom svetog Save, Koga slave svi Srbi s ove strane Save. Sinan pasa vatru pali, Telo Svetog Save spali,

Al’ ne spali slave, niti spomen Save.


(April 27, 1595), Orthodox Holy Thursday, Sinan Pasha burns the relics of St. Sava on Vracar Hill.)

(This verse tells about the Monastery Mileshevo where St. Sava’s body laid in repose for centuries before being burned  by Sinan-Pasha.  Although his body was burned, they could not burn out his glory or his memory.) 

Matushka Kathy adds: 

St. Sava’s body burned in Belgrade on Holy Thursday, April 27, 1595

Belgrade is bombed by the Germans on April 6th (Great and Holy Saturday) through April 10th, 1941

The allies then bombed it in 1944 on April 16th (Paskha Day-ORTHODOX EASTER!) and the 17th (Easter MOnday) trying to rid the Germans out of Belgrade.

The latest bombing took place as we all know from March 24, 1999 through June 5, 1999 which included Paskha (Easter), April 11, 1999.



And people wonder why the Serbs are so obsessed with history.

(Turks burn the holy relics of St. Sava at Vracar in Belgrade in 1594-painting by Uros Predic.)

5. Pet vekova Srbin je u ropstvu camio, Svetitelja Save ime je slavio.  Da zivimo svi u slozi, Sveti Savo Ti pomozi.

Pocuj glas svog roda, srpskoga naroda.

(For 5 centuries, Serbs were under the Turkish yoke, but the name of St. Sava was always celebrated.) 

6.  I mi, tvoji Srpcici, s ove strane mora,  Srpske krvi, imena; srpskoga govora, Slavimo te Sveti Savo, Srpske skole mudra glavo,

O dicnoga slavlja,  Oche Svetosavlja.

(The last verse says…. “and we, your little Serbians, on this side of the ocean, of Serbian blood, name, and language, also celebrate you, dear Father St. Sava, you, who always valued knowledge.”)


His Grace, Dr. Bishop Mitrofan, with our gorgeous American Serbian children in Boston, MA,  for St. Sava’s Day Celebration, 2009 

V.Rev. Zivojin Jakovljevic , then of St. Sava's Cathedral in Parma (Cleveland, OH) and now in New York City, NY, stands directly in front of the site where St. Sava was born, lovingly called "Misici," Serbia.

This WWI silk pillowcase shows Serbia and Montenegro were with the ALLIES during that time period.  Unfortunately, the Serbs’ undying loyalty to America was shamefully betrayed by men and countries who should have known better. 

God bless Serbs, loyal American allies!

The Decani Monastery in Kosovo is under heavy guard because the world knows that the treasures INSIDE the Monastery are priceless heirlooms to the World!

Right inside this church is found the Nemanjic Family Tree history, one of the greatest frescoes ever made! 

Here's "USkliknimo" (St. Sava's Hymn) in Serbian Cyrillic as it appeared in an old SRBOBRAN newspaper issue:

On this spot, in this church, they held the Serbian National Sabor in the 12th Century!

The very same church is where St. Sava was Christened!

Exact spot where St. Sava was Christened. (You walk down some steps!)

Bell that was in use during St. Sava’s times

I wrote this in 2006 before my Mom passed away…..:

  “I remember when I said my poems to Sveti Sava 50+ years ago, and my 87 year-old mother can still recite hers.  Her long poem ends like this: 

“Sve vishnjem se molim Bogu, da nam daje ljubav, slogo.  Da se brat sa bratom miri, da se Srpski jezik shiri, da slavimo Srpsku slavu, to nam zeli Svetitelja Savu!” 

“I pray with all of my heart that God grants us love and togetherness; that brother with brother makes peace; that we keep alive our Serbian language, that we honor our Saints Day; that’s what St. Sava wishes for us.


Sta Volim? I Love St. Sava’s Day!

(Aliquippa & Monroeville Parishes)
By Milana Karlo Bizic, Jan./Feb. 2006

There are beautiful photos of St. Sava’s Day being celebrated by our Serbian children in Kosovo on the KIM website.  Even more unbelievable, is seeing the children in Johannsburg, South Africa, ALSO celebrating St. Sava’s Day.
 Thanks be to God!

I’m sure my favorite holiday is St. Sava’s Day.  I eagerly look forward to the January 27 celebration as much as any young child waiting to open gifts on Christmas Day.  My heart pumps doubly fast when I hear the first notes of “U–s–klik-ni-mo s’ljubavu….”and by the time of the last verse that talks about “and we children on this side of the Ocean, of Serbian name and blood,” I’m just somewhere else in my own universe.

I revel in hearing the children say their declamaticas (Serbian recitations) to calls of “Bravo!  Bravo!” perhaps coupled with shrill whistles, and hard and fast clapping.  Of course, this all follows the last line of poetry said, when nervous parents and grandparents can finally breathe again and join the rest of us in the congregational celebration to Saint Sava.

The thirty-two children who took the stage at St. Elijah’s Center in Aliquippa gave an inspiring, flawless performance, thanks to the persistent efforts of Protinica Ana, Fr. Stevan Stepanov, the Sunday School teachers, the children and their parents and grandparents.  Good-natured hoots of approval revealed the listeners’awe after long poems were recited in perfect Serbian diction.

 John Buffalini, an eleventh grade junior student at Center High School, (and now an Economist in the Washington, DC area!)  served as Master of Ceremonies, his confidence immediately putting everyone at ease.  He was warmly welcoming, reminding me of a young Serbian Bert Parks conducting the world famous “Miss America” contest.  (He sings the epistle equally as well many Sundays.  Metropolitan Christopher, you must remember this name for the School of Theology, as Fr. Stepanov has said many times that John would make an excellent priest from the time he was in second grade!!!  Let’s face it.  John is going to do well with whatever profession he chooses.  We just hope he remains with us!)

Although the St. Sava’s Day performance was after church on Sunday, January 29, the practicing started in November, right after Thanksgiving.  Those extra practices on the weekdays were worth it.  No more last minute stuttering over declamaticas or saying one or two lines in English.  These great-grandchildren of St. Sava were absolutely wonderful! 

Smiles came readily to the audience as each young angel looked like a symphony orchestra conductor minus a baton after a brilliant performance as he/she bowed this way, then that in acknowledged appreciation, followed by even more enthused clapping on the final bow to the middle.  One after another these youngsters came, bringing gifts that no-money-in-the-world could buy to all.  “Bravo, brav-o!”

 “Sta volim?  Volim rijeka kad je cista, volim zvezdu kad se blistra….” Hearts were made young again as people nodded to one another…”that’s the poem I said when I was young,” or “I remember my mother reciting that one to me!  Dva desetog ovo veka, Sveti Sava na nas ceka.”

Although all students did a fine job it was such an incredible joy to hear John Buffali and 8th grader Natasa Cvetkovic take turns, alternating every paragraph between English and Serbian in the poem about St. Sava.  “Ko to lupa?”

Paragraph after paragraph this old poem went on, audience eyes darting from the poised young man on the right to the equally confident young lady to our left.  Three paragraphs, four.  So far so good.  Flawless, flawless so far.  Then you could almost see the audience’s breathing almost stop half way through, probably every mind thinking, “It’s so good, I hope they don’t forget now.”  Six, seven, eight paragraphs and still they went on.  Now by this time you could hear a pin drop.  Hearts stopped like dead battery clocks.  “Keep going, keep going” I heard my mind whisper pathetically.  Then finally the end, where the two teenagers said the poem’s last stanzas so dramatically together that heartfelt bursts of appreciative cheers rocked St. Elijah’s Center.  I couldn’t help but think how proud St. Sava must have been, witnessing this heavenly joy brought home to the people here on Earth!

Afterwards, I thought people would head for home in droves, but almost everyone stayed for beautiful fellowship dinner afterwards, even with threats of snow.

What could be better than the above?  How about St. Sava’s Day celebrations two weeks in a row, and with a visit from Bishop Artemije from Kosovo thrown into the mix!

In deference to Fr. Malich’s personal Slava of St. Peter in Chains on Sunday, January 29, and the possibility of an unexpected but most-welcomed guest, the Monroeville congregation celebrated the following Sunday, February 5. 

While I’m very partial to Aliquippa’s St. Elijah’s heavenly choir, I couldn’t help but be delighted with Monroeville’s St. Nicholas Choir too as they sang with such gusto under the direction of the master, Milutin Lazich.  Um-umm! What fantastic voices answered the prayers of the many participants in the altar, led by Bishop Artemije!

The Sunday School children sang “Uskliknimo,” and “O Boze Nas” and “Krst je sila i za mene, krst je spasenje…” as the congregation went up for nafora before the choir continued singing….what else?  “Uskliknimo” all the way to the end!

Even though it was Super Bowl Sunday, the church hall was packed for a wonderful dinner.  Bishop Artemije told of watching the children in Kosovo give their speeches for St. Sava’s Day, and never dreaming he would be lucky enough to be halfway across the world, to hear recitations to St. Sava again in America.  Then he spoke of the extremely hard times faced by the Serbian people of Kosovo and Fr. Malich as always, urged the people present to give as much as they could to help our suffering Serbian brethren. 

Sitting right next to Georgeann Klipa, I couldn’t help but see that she, not a wealthy woman by any means, lovingly answered Fr. Malich’s call, emptying her checkbook, but filling her heart.  And this wasn’t the first time.  If all of us could follow examples like the Klipas and the Silianoffs and others, our poor Serbian people wouldn’t be in such dire straits.  Who else do they have to help them but us? 

Congratulations, Monroeville.  You are very generous givers!

Bishop Artemije stayed to watch most of the 62 young children recite poems, sing Bible songs, act in plays and do a Question and Answer session about the Life of St. Sava.  This time, the Master of Ceremonies was none other than George Klipa, following in the footsteps of his late father, +Steve Klipa, who was posthumously awarded the medal of St. Sava for all of the good deeds he did for his people by V.Rev. Dr. Bishop Mitrofan of the Eastern American Diocese.  George was absolutely perfect, sometimes bending down on his knees and congratulating every participant so each thought of himself worthy of a star in a Hollywood sidewalk.  As they walked down the stairs, they received gifts from the honored Kumovi Robert and Diane Ray and their children.

While ALL the children were again delightful, special mention must be made of (1) Judy and Ivan Obrknez’s two youngsters, Evdokia & Vaso, singing (belting out with all their hearts!) about Serbia:  “Bices si ti, sto si bila!” to the delight of the crowd, (2) the handsome young Karas boy, four year old Dushan, son of Paul and Tracy Karas, when he said without missing a word, and delivering it as if he were in TV Broadcasting school at college, the entire NICENE CREED.  Joi, joi, joi!  The joy that day in Monroeville.  The future is assured!

That’s right, St. Sava.  Your children on this side of the ocean, of Serbian name and blood, will, Daj Boze, continue to sing to you with joyful hearts.  They’ll do their best for you and for themselves, making us all proud.  Just like their parents, grandparents, and great-great grandparents, they’re wonderful Serbs.  And in being good Serbs, they’re even better Americans! 
Holy Father Sava, we thy sinful servants ask:
Lead us to give our hearts to God first,
Lead us to live for Christ the Lord first, 
Lead us to seek His righteousness first, 
Lead us to desire Orthodox truth first, 
Lead us to remember the Saints first, 
Lead us to cherish the Church first, 
Lead us to love one another first, 
Lead us to seek unity of all first; 
Holy Father Sava, pray to God to save us. 
Tone 8 
O guide of Orthodoxy and blessed teacher of virtues,* purifier and enlightener of thy homeland,* beauty of monastics,* most wise Father, Holy Sava,* by thy teaching thou didst enlighten thy people,* O flute of the Spirit, pray to Christ God for our souls.
Tone 8 
As the first great hierarch and co-worker with the Apostles,* the Church of thy people magnifies thee;* and since thou hast found favor with Christ,* save us by thy prayers from every calamity,* so that we may proclaim to thee: Rejoice, God-wise Father Sava.  
Thanks to Fr. Dan Rogich and his THE SERBIAN PATERICON.  ERPKIM Archive

St. Nicholas Monroeville Jr. Tammies in front of the Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, June 13, 2009

Have you heard about the St. Sava School in Milwaukee, WI?

Please click on the link below to visit their church there too:



Be sure to see V. Rev. Fr. Zivojin Jakovljevic's new book called

Fr. Jakovljevic writes:  “The Irish in America are very proud of their identity.  They proudly wear their national costumes, decorate their homes and themselves with green, and play their national music.  They faithfully observe St. Patrick’s Day as their naitonal holiday and almost all of us Americans join them in the celebraton.  Jews and other national and ethnic groups in America also proudly preserve their national identities, cultural heritages, languages and religions.
We Orthodox faithful need to preserve and cherish our Orthodox Faith unaltered.”


These links and the ones on the following pages are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the webmaster of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. The owner bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. 

Singing with love to St. Sava 2010

Pittsburgh St. Sava 2010

Let us sing with love to our St. Sava, Serbian churches and schools, glorify his holiness!

Wherever our St. Sava is, there are wreaths and glory, Sing to him, thrice! 

Glorify him!”

These BEAUTIFUL children from Kansas City know all the words to St. Sava’s Hymn, “Uskliknimo” and sang it for me while their parents were performing for the 67th SSF Festival in Aliquippa, PA! 2008.  They were in Joliet for 2009, and Chicago’s “One Love” too, in 2010!

These kids could make ANY heart happy! And, they’re young TEENAGERS now!


Here’s another song young American Serbs like to sing at picnics and other happy gatherings. 

“Oj Srbi-jo!” 


This song shows Serbs are proud of their Serbian Orthodox heritage:  Thank you, Mother, for what you’ve given me! Truth, Freedom in my heart; Karadjordje and Voyvoda Stepa!

Kids in Phoenix waving their little Serbian flags! Photo from Denise K.

Display at the B.F. Jones  Memorial Library in Aliquippa, in honor of the 67th Serbian Singing Festival held in the area Memorial Day weekend-May 23-25, 2008.


This is the Nemanjic Royal Family Tree from which St. Sava’s family originated. It is located in the Decani Monastery in Kosovo! There is a similar fresco in the narthex of the Patriarchate of Pec from the fourth decade of the 14th Century. This is our history!  This is our future! We must always be vigilant in defending Kosovo for those who come after us.

Here I am lighting this candle in Decani Monastery in the name of all of the Serb National Federation members living and dead in America, who always defended Kosovo through the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries!.

Serbian kids EVERYWHERE know the Hymn to St. Sava:

These children from Serbia were on a field trip with their teachers to this Lazarica Monastery.  Fr. Zivojin (from Cleveland) and I purchased candles for them to light for all the martyrs who died throughout the centuries. Then we all sang “Vjecnaja Pamjat” (Memory Eternal) and  “Uskliknimo” together.

Here are some other Serbian teen-agers who are just like you, and their teachers at another Serbian monument.

It seemed everywhere we visited, school children were out learning more about their country’s historical sites!  We made sure we told the students how very much we loved them all… each one of them! 

These children BLESSED themselves before singing “Uskliknimo” for us!

Wherever our St. Sava is, there are wreaths of glory!  We loved them!

Look at  THESE children singing “Uskliknimo”  in the St. Sava VRACAR Cathedral in Belgrade.  They were on a field trip from Voyvodina schools, 2006.

(Above) St. Sava’s Cathedral in Belgrade

St. Sava’s Day in Aliquippa
by Milana Karlo Bizic  2-8-08

“Ko to lupa?” Who knocks on our heart on St. Sava’s Day each year the way Prince Rastko (our beloved St. Sava) knocked on monastery doors centuries ago?

In Aliquippa, PA, one could say it started this year watching ever reliable Bisa Kovachevich and her daughters Stephanie and Nada proudly bringing the Kolach and Koljivo up the steps of St. Elijah as the bells were joyfully pealing, calling the faithful to service.

Peering down from the choir loft, admiring honored Kumovi, Natalie Suder and Alex Osman, standing so upright, wearing their red/blue/white trobojnicas, holding aloft their special candles throughout the service with a pride not unlike that found in the finest of Serbian soldier flag bearers, counted as another joy.

Capturing with your eyes the Click! Click! Click! mental snapshots of a dozen gold-clad altar boys in absolute synch doing formations in front of the altar or left altar door with their silver and gold crosses, fans, and candle holders, better than any star football players making X’s and O’s moves on a chalkboard made it 3-0.

It’s your inside alertness alarm going off, with the promise of “coming soon!” —the hustle, bustling preparation of the distinguished tutors huddling around the small altar table, bringing the wine, kolach, koljivo, then giving the hand wave signal to the waiting Sunday School class representatives; the Kumovi passing their candles to the back so their hands are free to turn the kolach with Father.

Ko to lupa?  (Who’s knocking?)  It’s St. Elijah’s balanced and strong 35 member choir singing “Slava tebi Hriste Boze” (we celebrate You, Lord God), as the kolach is turned, and after all is said and done, a chorus of joyous “Mnogaja Ljeta” (“Many Years!”) and singing verse after verse of “Uskliknimo” as the well-pleased parishioners go up for nafora.

All this even before the first Declamatcia (Recitation) is said! 

            Ko to lupa?

The Sunday School Class of 2008 did a magnificent job of reciting their poems to St. Sava.  Proto Stevan and Protinica Ana were as proud as peacocks as the children said their poems in perfect Serbian diction.  Father said:  “I want to congratulate our dear Sunday School Children for a job extremely well done.  They were all so well dressed, so well behaved, so well prepared and so proud to say the poems they had worked so hard to prepare.  This brings me to the dedicated parents and grandparents who brought these children to practices, and more importantly, who worked with them and practiced with them daily so that they would shine on stage.  Afterwards, as I watched them run and play after the program, I was so proud and happy to see yet another generation learning and growing together in their Serbian Orthodox faith.” 

Not only the parents and grandparents got kudos, but also the dedicated Sunday School Teachers and Program Coordinators, Georgette Osman and Brian Hayden.  The Mother’s Club with Seya Mabee and Lynn Popovich at the head had everyone thanking them for a wonderful dinner afterwards.

From Juliana Mistovich’s flawless recitation of “Dobrodoslica” (Welcome) to endearing Elijah Kosanovich’s “Eto Dragi Gosti Mili” (Here we are, Dear Guests!), a big “thank you!” for a job very well done!  St. Sava himself would have been so proud!

Special mention should be made of “Ostajte Ovdje!” (Stay Here in Serbia) a poem by Aleksa Santic performed flawlessly by Natasha Cvjetkovic. Update 2010: Natasha graduated from Hopewell High School and was the recipient of TWO academic scholarships!



Here is the Poem RASTKO (WHO IS KNOCKING?) written by Vojislav Ilic that has been translated for us by V.Rev. Fr. Dr. Mateja Matejic! Sharing knowledge this way, Fr. Matejic knows that one of you out there reading this might be the one to VOLUNTEER to say the poem at YOUR CHURCH next St. Sava's Day. Start practicing now! Thank you, Fr. Matejic! This is wonderful!

Vojislav Ilic[1] RASTKO

Who is knocking at this hour
of the night so dark and scary
on the gates of silent, sleepy
Holy Mount monastery?

Peaceful dreams of monks at midnight
a cry pierced, and they awoke.
“Grey-haired Fathers, open the gates!”-
a voice begged. The silence broke…

“Lo! My soul seeks enlightenment,
and my body needs repose.
I am sleepy and exhausted,
I am weak, so weak… God knows

But strong is my will which made me
come to you and leave my kingdom
to dedicate life to people,
to my country and its freedom.

I abandoned Court and crown,
throne and scepter made me weary;
I came here to seek enlightenment
in this humble monastery.

Open the gates, honored Fathers!”
(This voice filed the hearts with shudder.)
“Accept me, a prince and ruler,
as your modest, younger brother.”

Heavy gates were slowly opened.
Hinges squeaked. A frightened owl
spread its wings and flew in darkness
like a lost and lonely soul.

At the threshold of the temple,
where God’s name is highly rated,
with a lighted  torch uplifted
the guardian-Father waited.

When he lifted his torch higher
the light formed a radiant bow;
a boy barefooted and innocent
stood outside in the snow.

His face was pale like an icon.
Unkempt hair his head protected.
Yet a wisdom divine, holy,
on his forehead was reflected.

The old monk embraced the youngster,
on his forehead a kiss implanted.
“We accept you, dear child,” – he said,
“Your wish and plea have been granted.”

Many ages have since gone by,
( All this happened long ago),,
many ages have since flown
and   many more will yet flow.

But that boy lives even now,
deathless, as it is his story.
He was RASTKO,  son  Nemanja’s,
SAINT SAVA, clad in glory.

By Vojislav Ilic. Translated from Serbian and versified by Fr.  Mateja Matejic

[1]  Mateja Matejic, Glorifying Saint Sava,  Kosovo Publishing  Co, Columbus Ohio, 1977, 8-9

Jan.25, 2009

2009 St. Sava’s Day Celebration at St. Elijah’s Serbian Orthodox Church, Aliquippa, on Jan. 25, 2009.
Celebration with V. Rev. Fr. Adam Yontich filling in for Fr. Stevan Stepanov.
Brother & Sister, Alex & Jessica Osman were Honored Kumovi.
St. Sava’s Day in Aliquippa, PA 2010
with V. Rev. Stevan Stepanov


St. Sava's Day in Lenexa, Kansas 2010 Congratulations Bajich Kumovi!

Tijana Bajich Samardzija posted a photo
of all 15 of the Bajich grandkids together for Thanksgiving, 2011:

From Left to Right, 1st Row:

Jovan Bajich, Luka Bajich, Milan Bajich, Milana Samardzija Mundweil, Marija Bajich. 2nd Row: Slobodan Kanatzar, Mariana Bajich, Anna Bajich, RoseMary Prodonovich, Sara Bajich, Dr. Radmila Samardzija, Maia Bajich, Simo Bajich, Harold Kanatzar, Nikola Cubric 
You can be sure they all said poems to St. Sava!
And how about the St. Sava Church in Indiana’s Web Blog?  Read about it here!

Click on here to view Saintsava.

We love the folks at St. Sava’s in Schererville and Merrillville areas!
Read, but don’t forget to come back!
In too great of a hurry?  Check out these videos made by Dorothy Paunovich:
“WE are so fortunate to have Dorothy on our team, she is wonderful to work with and is extremely talented and gifted.  She has fabulous ideas and is a whiz on the computer.  She has put us on the map!  We are getting rave reviews, even from non-Serbs!”   Roz and Milan Opacich (Schererville, IN)
Congratulations to Fr. Dejan Tiosavljevic and his faithful parishioners of St. Sava’s Serbian Orthodox Church in Cypress (Houston), Texas, 77429, with the Consecration their new church on Nov. 12 and 13, 2011, with 5 Bishops and many clergy being present.  It was a grand day for all.  Congratulations, St. Sava Houston!
Greetings arrived from Prince Aleksandar of Serbia and his family; Governor Rick Perry of Texas, U.S. Senator John Cornyn, and United States Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson.
Kum for the occasion was Jonathan Stigant, Ktitor-Builder.

"What Makes a Serb?"-St.Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich

What Makes a Serb?

“No one can be a good Serbian unless he is a good man to start with.”

"May you never have a fool for a guide nor a godless Serbian for a partner."

This particular information from St. Bishop Nikolai appeared in the St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church Bulletin of Easter, 2014.

What makes a Serb? You are a good Serbian if you have the sweet soul of King Vladimir, the forebearance of Nemanja, Sava's love of Christ, Milutin's faithfulness, Decanski's meekness, Urosh's modesty, Lazar's readiness to sacrifice, Strahinja's valiancy, Marko's sense of justice, the heart of Mother Jugovic, the undoubting heart of Milica, the blessedness of mother Jevrosima, the mercy of the Kosovo Maiden, the resilience of the enslaved Serbians, the vision of the blind guslars, he wisdom of the Serbian clergy and monks, the artistry of the folk handcrafts, the elegegancy of the creators of folk dress, the clear logic of the folk wisdoms, the nobility and good taste of the Serbian peasant, the bliss of the Krsna Slava of all baptized Serbs.

Truly, the very foundation of everything mentioned above is FAITH IN CHRIST.

If you have not in you any of the virtues mentioned above and you still call yourself a Serbian,

then you are only wearing a name of a famous firm on an empty shop.

This is something I do not wish for you nor would you wish it on yourself.

To say-be a good Serbian but your faith is unimportant, it is the same as if to say to a sheep–be well fed and fattened, the pasture is not important!

NO ONE can be a good Serbian unless he is a good man to start with.

In the world there has never existed a power which could make a man perfectly good except the power of the faith in Christ.

Therefore, don’t wish to be a Serb without substance.

May you neer have a fool for a guide nor a godless Serbian for a partner.

This is my wish for you.

Bishop Nikolai on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the “St. Sava Lodge #1” of the former society “SLOGA” which merged with the Serb National Federation in 1929:

While most Serbs also speak English very well, along with several other European languages besides Serbian, their original alphabet is CYRILLIC.

They can read Cyrillic and Latinica.

(Click on the lower right hand bottom to enlarge this for your use!) 


I am indebted to very talented artist,  Milan Kecman of Ohio, for this beautifully executed copy of the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet.

Faith, Family, Future:

(Photo by Milan Karlo, 1948, American SERB LIFE magazine)

How has the belief in the Resurrection of Christ been preserved through so many centuries?

The keyIn the same way that a well rooted tree withstands the winds, as light is preserved in darkness, and as truth is preserved amidst lies.”

“O Serbia, beloved mother!

May you always have good fortune,

 Your children love you, 

And for you they pray to God.


 Land of our forefathers, Knights, and saints. 


For the honor of the cross, martyrs, 

For freedom, defenders.


Grave to grave — holy cemetery,  There rest Serbian slaves. 


     And all altars to altars,  The legacy of Serbian kings.


On Kosovo, Gracanica,  On the mountain, Studenica


By the Morava, Ravanica

In KrusevacLazarica.

From every battle to battle, 

Before and after VidovDan.


You are everywhere poured out in blood, 

Everywhere awash in tears.

There Kosovo sadly stands, 

Counting five centuries of slavery,

Memorial of glory and heroism, 

And discord and betrayal.

Fear not, beloved mother, 

God WILL give to you good fortune

And you will be most happy, 

And of all, most praised and glorious.”

St. Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
And from Mim:
“Puna Srece, Ljubavi, Mira i Sloge za Sve, od srca Vam zelim!”

Day that the Serbian Flag Flew Over the White House

July 28. 1918-2018

Tamo Daleko 1918-2018

The visual-literary exhibit “Тамо далеко: 1918-2018″/ “Over There, So Far Away: 1918-2018,” celebrating the Centennial of the victory of Serbia in WWI, was on display during the academic symposium on Thursday, July 26, and at the Gala Banquet on Saturday evening, July 28, 2018.

Created by Mr. Marinko Lugonja and Mr. Marko Kentera, this exhibit was presented by the Office of Religious Education of the Serbian Orthodox Church Eastern Diocese in cooperation with the nonprofit organization Art Exchange.

Click on the link below to the Serbian Eastern Diocese to read more about the glorious posters and their purpose.

Click on the below to know more:


Mihaila Tuba was the Main Greeter at the National Press Club on Thursday, July 26, for the Academic Symposium.


June 29, 2018 – Pittsburgh/Chicago

“The Presidents of the two oldest Serbian organizations in the United States, the Serbian National Defense Council of America and the Serb National Federation, issued today the following joint statement:

“Next month we will join Serbian-Americans from across the country in Washington, DC, under the Patronage of His Grace Bishop Irinej and the World War I Centennial Commission of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of President Woodrow Wilson’s declaration of a Day of Prayer for Serbia and the historic flying of the Serbian flag at the White House.

“This important milestone, which will be marked by a series of events, is an opportunity to reflect on the historic alliance and friendship between the United States and Serbia that saw us stand in defense of our shared values in both World Wars—from the Salonika Front to Operation Halyard. It will also be an opportunity to recall a time when our community helped shape, through its unique contributions and active involvement, policies and decisions that reflected those values. 

“In a time when so many of our people continue to face oppression and persecution, when so many still remain driven from their homes, when our churches and monasteries and cultural heritage remain under threat—it is once again important for the voices of Serbian-Americans to be heard in our Nation’s capital.

“We encourage you to be a part of this historic commemoration and look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC.

Nebojsa ZivkovicPresident Serbian National Defense Council of America .

Nebojsa Zivkovic works hard!

John MartichPresident Serbian National Federation

How to make a person feel like a million!  These guys fit the bill to the hilt! They added such an air of “authenticity” to the evening!

Lloyd Theodore Poe is an American politician who has represented Texas’s 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 2005.

Co-chairing the Serbian Council in the US Congress, Congressman Ted Po of Texas handed the letter of Prime Minister of Serbia Ani Brnabic on Wednesday 25 July, 2018.

In a letter, Honorable Mr. Po requests to publish a document related to the trial and execution of the leader of the JVoO and the Chetnik Movement Dragoljub Draza Mihailovic.

We bring the text as a whole:

General Mihailovic played a key role in the rescue of hundreds of foreign pilots during World War II, including US missions. He and the people he commanded showed extraordinary courage in defending our pilots during the Halyard mission, so I believe that it would be honorable and memorable to make the public circumstances of his death honorable.

Americans will never forget the courage and companionship of the Serbs, especially Draza Mihailovic, shown during the Second World War. I hope that together we will be able to educate future generations of Americans and Serbs about our long historical friendship in order to survive in the years to come.

I want to thank you sincerely for your visit to Washington. In the spirit of friendship between the United States and the Republic of Serbia, I am pleased to present you with the request to disclose material related to the trial and murder of Draža Mihailović.

We were all so proud of the many roles John Buffalini played throught the five days in Washington, DC.

After a picnic lunch enjoyed by all at St. Luke’s, we heard all about the plight and horrible, frightening conditions of the Serbian people living in Kosovo from this Representative.

7:00 P.M. – Gala Banquet at the National Press Club on the occasion of the Centennial.

Visit the U.S. Embassy in Serbia site below to learn so much more about this great event!

Serbian Culture and Heritage

The Day the Serbian Flag Flew Over the White House July 28-1918-2018

Wednesday-July 25th

12:00 P.M.- Opening Prayer for the House of representatives by His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America at the U. S. Capitol Building.

3:30-5:30 – Reception at the U.S. Capitol-House Visitor Center 201 co-hosted by the Serbian American  Congressional Caucus, the Embassy of Serbia and the WWI Centennial Commission.

Thursday-July 26th

 1:00-5 :00- Academic Symposium at the National Press Club sponsored by the Serbian National Defense Council of America.  The Speakers were: His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America and Ambassador Djerdj Matkovic.

Professor Dr. Krinka Vidakovic-Petrov was the Keynote Speaker. She was followed with a Panel Discussion led by Dr. Branko Mikasinovic as Moderator, Prof. Dr. Gordon Bardos, Prof. Dr. Julian Schuster, Hon. Branko Terzic and Rev. Dr. Vasilije Vranic.

Friday-July 27th

5:30-Reception  at the Carnegie Institution for Science, sponsored by the Republic of Srpska Office for Cooperation, Trade and Investment.

On the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson, the Republic of Srpska Representative Office in America, together with the Committee for the Marking of the 100th anniversary, organized a reception for friendship in honor of this anniversary and the President of the Government of the Republic of Srpska, Zeljka Cvijanovic, at the Washington Institute for Science in Washington.

Former Congressman Bob McEwan recalled in his address the words of US President Woodrow Wilson, after the end of World War I, and stressed that Memory for one’s nation is most important.

(Just click on the lower right hand corner of the photos to enlarge them.)

Mim Bizic holds her Teti Ljubica Bjelic's flag at the National Institute of Science after the speeches.

7:00 PM – Concert & Cultural Program at the Carnegie Instituion for Science sponsored by the Serb National Federation.  Performances by the String Quartet of the School for Musican Talents from Cuprija, Serbia, and the Serbian Singing Society “Lira” of St. Luke Serbian Orthodox Church of Washington, DC.

These 4 beautiful and talented musicians hail from Čuprija, Serbia. They also entertained at the Gala Banquet Hall in the National Press Club.

His Grace Bishop Irinej thanks the St. Luke Lira Choir for their fine performance at the National Institute of Science.  They also performed at the National Press Club for the Gala Banquet.

What a marvelous job this famous Serbian actor and Director did reciting great passages from heart!

Now, here’s the BEST part of the whole evening, and I have to thank Rarko Dadovanovic for this!

Please take time to see and hear this! His Grace, our Bishop Irinej, tells WHY we celebrated this occasion.

Saturday – July 28th

10:00 A.M. – Pan-Orthodox Hierachical Divine Liturgy with a Memorial Service at St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral National War Memorial Shrine in Washington, DC, followed by a luncheon sponsored by St. Luke’s Serbian Orthodox Church.

A most inspiring service with almost 30 clergy, followed by a Luncheon hosted by St. Luke’s.

Beautiful ladies from St. Luke’s!  Prijatno!

7:00 P.M. – Gala Banquet at the National Press Club on the occasion of the Centennial.

These “Soldiers” sure looked impressive in front of the large WWI poster that featured President Woodrow Wilson and Prince Regent Aleksandar Karadjordjevich!

How we all loved these three!

Branko Terzic served as Master of Ceremonies for the Gala Banquet.  He is shown here wearing his double headed White Eagle medal, the highest honor Serbia can bestow on someone.

An evening of first class entertainment!

These two Visnick beauties are the pride of their mother and father (Joyce and Milan Visnick), but also all of us!

The line up of talent shown here was superb! Click on the lower right hand corner to enlarge the photo!

See you in church on Sunday!

10:00 A.M. Hierachical Divine Liturgy at St. Luke Serbian Orthodox Church in Potomac, MD

Greeting His Grace, Bishop Irinej are the young girls from St. Luke’s Parish in Washington, DC.

Grand niece, Amelia Bizic and her aunt Mim Bizic at St. Luke’s Family Picnic, a beautiful ending to a great celebratory event.

12:00 P.M.-Family Picnic, hosted by the St. Luke Serbian Orthodox Church in Potomac, MD.

Serbianism: U.S. Congresswoman, Helen Delich Bentley Српство од Јелене Делић Бентли

Stefan Nemanja (St. Simeon), wrote in the Testament of book and letters:  “Write us down in the book of peoples of this world so that forever may be known that we were, we are, and that we shall be”

Alex Malich visited Helen Bentley on June 28, 2016 before her passing. Upon seeing him she said, “It’s the Serbian holiday, Vidovdan.  You know how much I love the Serbian people.  Stay Serbian!”  

Helen passed away on Saturday, August 6, 2016, surrounded by her family and friends.

“For starters, there is simply no substitute for hard work, and plenty of it. Persistence pays. And some doors are best opened with a good kick.”—HELEN BENTLEY

She was called “THE WATERFRONT ROCKY” 

Click here to know more

It was 1948 when she wrote the SERBIANISM piece found below.

Helen Delich Bentley wasn’t a U.S. Congresswoman yet.  Nor at the time of this writing would we know that she would eventually be honored by hundreds of people in attendance at the 300th Anniversary of the Port of Baltimore GALA or that at that special occasion, would she receive flowers from the Governor of the State  Bob Ehrlich, and the incredible acknowledgment that henceforth the nearby waterways would be called THE HELEN DELICH BENTLEY PORT OF BALTIMORE!  How honored I was to be present for that special occasion where Helen served as the Chairman for the Port of Baltimore Tricentennial Committee.

How thrilled ALSO I was to find this piece of information written in the March/Arpil 1948 issue of my father’s AMERICAN-SERB LIFE magazine.

An excellent U.S.Representative, Helen has always been true-blue to her American-Serb roots too.  She was present at the 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo on Vidovdan in 1989 with 2.2-3 million other people including us folks from the Pittsburgh/Cleveland area and the California and Canada folks too. 

Here’s Helen in 1948, and if you speak to most other American-Serbs now, 60+ years later, they’ll proudly say the information below is STILL TRUE!

HELEN DELICH (Bentley) on
From: American-Serb Life Magazine,
March-April, 1948, p. 29
 in her regular column entitled: “Matter of Fact”

“I’ve spent a good deal of time in the past several years tying to define Serbianism.  But I still can’t.

Of course many ideas have occurred to me, but none have satisfied me.  So far I can only characterize Serbianism.

For instance, Serbianism can be synonymous with fighting for the right, or what we believe is right, with every possible breath.

Then it can mean giving whole-heartedly of whatever you have to help one who needs it.

Or it may be simply sharing whatever you have with everyone; or sticking with him, come hell or high water; Or the guslar spirit, where your cards are stacked for you.

The Do or Die Spirit

It might be a determination to fight doggedly on, as the Serbs did when the Turks tried to master them, and as they probably will again before this century is out.

Or a fiery spirit and flaming temperament.

Perhaps it is none of these.  Or perhaps it is all of them rolled into one.

Serbianism is too big a thing to be able to toss aside lightly with a definition of one or two words.

I’ve watched this Serbianism in action from the West Coast to the East Coast.  
Whatever it is, it’s the same everywhere.

You come to the door of a Serbian home.
You’re welcomed with open arms, even though they have never seen you before.

Real Hospitality

The table is spread with strudel, sarma, kuspa y meso, and other favorite dishes.
Rakija and wino are brought forth in abundance.  You are to make yourself at home.

It can be no other way.  If it is, your host feels he has slipped up somewhere.
It’s both a disgrace and dishonor for a guest to be dissatisfied in the home of a Serb.

Air of Friendliness

The one thing common to all the age groups is the air of friendliness.
Smiles wreath their faces.  Smiles light their eyes.  ALL welcome you.

Your heart fills up with “before and after” thoughts.
Your joy bubbles over as you hear Serbian words floating around you again.

Maybe all of this is Serbianism.  I don’t know.
As I said before, I can’t define it.

All I know is that I’m proud of being a Serb.
And no matter where I go, I can count on a Serb making me feel “I’m home—and “alive.”



3 Phoenix Serb Beauties!

Internet Flowers for you, Helen!


Helen Delich Bentley shares the precious items she inherited many, many years ago from her beloved +parents at the SNF Convention in Windsor, Canada, 2007

 Medals, pinbacks, King Alexander of Yugoslavia memorial necklace pieces, Serbian Society badge  and the black ribbon worn for funerals.  This one is of the Lika and Krbava Svetog Spasitela.

Srpsko Provosl. Bratstvo Lika i Krbava Svetog Spasitela = Serbian Orthodox Brotherhood of Lika and Krbava Holy Guardian/Saviour …..  

Note the 4 C’s surrounding the cross.  CCCC in Cyrillic or in English, SSSS = Samo Sloga Srbina Spasova or “ONLY UNITY SAVES THE SERBS!”    

Also note the crossed American and Serbian flags atop the badge pin. This same custom of displaying the dual identity of being a good American without losing your Serbian identity is still frequently seen today.  

However, note the spelling of Serbian.  During WWI the country was known as Servia, so this is a SERVIAN society.  

Fact is that Servia/Serbia was loved so much, there was even a huge Ship named the S.S. Servia.  You can find information on this ship at the Ellis Island Immigration Center records.


Update:  Dec. 20, 2010

Via a Christmas Card,, I learned that Helen turned 87 this year and is still working as a lobbyist.  She says it keeps her brain alert and her body moving around.  She was named “Industrialist of the Year” by the Baltimore Museum of Industry on whose board she sits.  She also sits on the board of the Pride of Baltimore II, Baltimore’s promotion clippen ship which she christened in 1988, taking seven swings on that oe because they failed to score the bottle! 

What a wonderful role model she has been and continues to be for all of us!  Sve najbolje, Helen!


(Helen is the baby on her mother’s knee in Ely, Nevada, born in 1923)

Happy 90th Birthday, Helen Delich Bentley!

On November 17, 2013, over 500 of Helen’s relatives and friends helped her celebrate her 90th birthday at the National Historic Landmark, the old Platt Oyster Cannery buiilding, now the Baltimore Museum of Industry (since 1977), located at  1415 Key Highway, in Baltimore, MD, by the NW branch of the Patapsco River.   Two former Governors of Maryland (Robert Erlich, Jr. and Marvin Mandel_ and many U.S. Congressional figures including Senator Barbara Mikuski, Senator Paul Sarbanes, Reps. Steny Hoyer, C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberge and John Sarbanes, and Elijah Cummings, joined in the exciting tribute to a woman who has done so much for America, and especially the Maritime Industry as a journalist, TV documentarian, legislator and consultant.  

(Helen’s real birth date is Nov. 28t)

Helen D. Bentley served the 2nd District in Congress from 1985 to 1995, but her focus was always on the Port of Baltimore, where the public terminals are named after her.

Helen was he maritime editor of the Baltimore Sun, head of the Federal Maritime Commission, and is still working as a port consultant.  It was due to Helen’s foresight and lobbying, the speakers said, that Baltimore is one of the most recognized ports in the world, so that even the largest ships coming through the Panama Canal could dock in Baltimore.


 The speeches went on too long, didn’t have a chance to present this:


Helen Delich Bentley, Serbian Super Woman

By Milana (Mim) Karlo Bizic

November 17, 2013, Baltimore Museum of Industry 

In 1948, Helen wasn’t a U.S. Congresswoman yet.  Nor did we know then that she would be honored in 2004 for the 300th Anniversary of the Port of Baltimore Gala where she received flowers from Governor Erhlich and the incredible acknowledgement that henceforth the nearby waterways would be called The Helen Delich Bentley Ports of Baltimore.  How honored I was to be there for that incredible occasion.

Our adventurous, achievement-oriented Helen has been an inspiration, always leading others to new skills and getting them out of their comfort zones.  She never practiced the “Good Enough” theory, but lived a thrilling tapestry of life, making a difference in other people’s lives, challenging others to follow her lead.  She has been a motivator who always walked the talk, and she has stayed true to her values.

 An excellent United States Representative, she has nevertheless stayed true-blue to her American-Serb roots too.  Twenty four years ago, on June 28, 1989,  Congresswoman Helen, my sister Dr. Rose Gantner and I were present at the 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo on Vidovdan, along with 3 million other Serbs, when our own government refused to acknowledge the importance of this date, and event, and even boycotted it!


 Now, this coming June 28, 2014 will be a special time in Philadelphia, marking the 625th Anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo.  There will be a celebration acknowledging the great contributions of 200 years of Serbs in America, starting with George Sagic Fisher who helped Steven Austin and Sam Houston win Texas, and who helped lay the cornerstone of the Washington Monument in our country’s capital.  Along with famous scientists Nikola Tesla and Michael Pupin, for sure, we know there will be information about Helen Delich Bentley and her great deeds on display there.

Congratulations once again to our always electrified, live-wired Helen. 

She will live forever in our hearts and souls! 

She is not at age 90 an elderly woman, but a true ELDER, a custodian of wisdom. 

Our own Sensational, Significant, Successful, Splendid HELEN!  CCCC/SSSS!


U.S. Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley

and General Draza Mihailovich

(Thanks to Aleksandra Rebic and her website)

Reference: Vol. 136 No. 36

Congressional Record — House
Thursday, March 29, 1990

101st Congress 2nd Session
136 Cong Rec H 1341
Reference: Vol. 136 No. 36


[*H1341] The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentlewoman from Maryland [Mrs. Bentley] is recognized for 60 minutes.

MRS. BENTLEY. Madam Speaker, I am pleased that the distinguished gentleman from Illinois, Congressman Philip Crane, suggested that we use this special order today to discuss a very heroic and courageous man, Gen. Draza Mihailovich.

Today’s special order is a very timely one, Madam Speaker. Today marks the 42d anniversary of General Mihailovich being posthumously awarded the Legion of Merit Award by President Harry Truman.

And 2 days ago, on the 27th of March, we commemorated what would have been General Mihailovich’s 97th birthday.

Unfortunately, however, most of our Nation’s citizens do not even know who this brave freedom fighter for democracy was.

Perhaps more telling than anything else about General Mihailovich is the fact that he was the bitter enemy of both the Nazi occupiers of Yugoslavia during World War II and the dictatorial Communist government of Broz Tito who ruled Yugoslavia after the war.

It was Tito’s government that was eventually responsible for the mock trialin a kangaroo court that culminated in the execution of General Mihailovich.

What better day is there than this one to remember why President Trumanposthumously awarded the Legion of Merit Award to General Mihailovich?

While World War II was raging in central Europe, over 500 American airmen were shot down behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia.

These men were rescued, protected, and returned to safety by the freedom-fighting Chetnik forces under the command of Draza Mihailovich, whoseforces fought first against the Nazi occupiers and then against the Communist forces that held sway over Yugoslavia.

I would like to quote from a letter sent to me recently from Maj. Richard L.Felman, U.S. Air Force, retired. Major Felman was one of these American airmen whose life was saved by General Mihailovich.

Major Felman includes in his letter a public thank you to General Mihailovich, saying, “Thank you, General Mihailovich, for saving the lives of over 500 of our boys while they were serving in the defense of our country. No one else has ever done that and we as a people and a nation are mighty grateful!”

Mr. Speaker, Major Felman is indeed correct in stating that no one has done so courageous a deed for American soldiers behind enemy lines as Gen. Draza Mihailovich.

When President Truman awarded General Mihailovich the Legion of Merit Award on March 29, 1948, the brave general was already dead.

Mr. Speaker, we have only recently been able to officially confirm this highhonor bestowed upon the general. This information became available after the records in the National Archives were opened to the public 40 years after the end of World War II. Here is a copy of the award on the front cover of a Serbian publication “Pogledi.”


General Dragoljub Mihailovich distinguished himself in an outstanding manner as Commander-in-Chief of the Yugoslavian Army Forces and later as Minister of War by organizing and leading important resistance forces against the enemy which occupied Yugoslavia, from December 1941 to December 1944. Through the undaunted efforts of his troops, many United States airmen were rescued and returned safely to friendly control. General Mihailovich and his forces, although lacking adequate supplies, and flighting under extreme hardships, contributed materially to the Allied cause, and were instrumental in obtaining a final Allied Victory.

Harry S. Truman
March 29, 1948.

General Mihailovich was tried and executed by Communist authorities on the grounds that he collaborated with the Nazis during the war.

The American airmen who were under the general’s protection knew that this was a patent lie, and had the evidence to disprove it.

Not only did the Yugoslav Communist government refuse the American airmen permission to come testify, but they also disallowed any use of their written testimony altogether.

Over 600 pages of sworn testimony by American airmen were presented by our State Department to the general’s legal counsel, and thrown out at his trial.

Mr. Speaker, a great injustice has been done against the name of DrazaMihailovich. But time has proved what our boys, shot down in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia, knew all along.

General Mihailovich was both a Yugoslav patriot and freedom fighter, not the traitor that the Communists executed him as.

[*H1342] I urge all Members of Congress to join me in commemorating thelife of Gen. Draza Mihailovich on this very special anniversary.

Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Illinois, [Mr. Crane].


Member of U.S. Congress (1985-1995)
Chairman, Federation Maritime Commission (1969-1975)

“She has been called the Fighting Lady, because she persists until she gets it done. She’s true to her word and doesn’t play games. And Helen is one of the most knowledgable people on maritime matters in the entire world. I’ve been with her on international visits, and was so impressed by the respect shown to her by those in the martime world.” — William Donald Schaefer, former Maryland Governor and Mayor of Baltimore

“Whenever there is a problem in the port, people turn to her to find solutions.” – The Baltimore Sun

(Click on this HELEN BENTLEY website to learn more about her awards and achievements.) 


 Shorter Info below from PORT OF BALTIMORE site:

The Honorable Helen Delich Bentley’s first career was as a maritime reporter and Maritime Editor at The Sun, where she created the most-respected maritime section in the nation during her 24-year tenure, breaking important national stories through dogged determination and a personal style that made her famous from boardrooms to the docks. Her coverage of the supply problem for America’s war effort in Vietnam led to the institution of containers as the preferred method of cargo transport.

In 1950 she moved into television. Bentley produced, directed, edited, wrote and did interviews for her series, “The Port That Built a City,” and, later, “The Port That Built a City – and State.” Throughout, she still wrote and edited at The Sun. Her focus on the Port of Baltimore intensified both public and government awareness of the Port’s substantial economic impact on Maryland.

From 1969-1975, Bentley served as Chairman of the United States Federal Maritime Commission. At the time, she was the fourth-highest ranking woman in Federal government history.

From 1985-1995, Bentley served in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District. While in Congress, she sat on the Appropriations, Budget, Public Works & Transportation and Merchant Marine & Fisheries Committees, in addition to the Steel, Art, Northeast, Human Rights and Trade & Tourism Caucuses.

Since 1995, she has been President and CEO of Helen Bentley & Associates, Inc., specializing in government relations and business development. Bentley is also a consultant to the Maryland Port Administration and a small businesswoman.

Throughout her career, Bentley has tirelessly promoted two primary issues – the advancement of America’s maritime community, and America’s industrial/ manufacturing base.

What's in the bag, Helen? Treasures, real treasures!

Opening the fabled kerchief!

“Wow!  Look at the riches!”

Chicago, 1903

That means this is over 100 years old! 

Thanks for sharing, Helen!


Helen Bentleys!

Amelia Bizic, 2012,

Washington, DC

Maja Plecas, 2013

Chicago, IL

Jocelyn Bizic, 2013

Houston, TX



Helen helped open

the doors for all of you!


Photo taken of Helen Delich Bentley’s typewriter on display at the Museum of Industry, the one she used while the maritime reporter for the Baltimore Sun.

Helen’s extended family came in for the party from all over the USA.


Dr. Rose Karlo Gantner and sister Milana (Mim) Karlo Bizic of Pittsburgh, former U.S. Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley, and Stephanie Lalich Adams and her daughter Caroline Lalich Adams, from the Washington, DC area.

Stephanie is the daughter of the famed Nick Lalich, hero of the book THE FORGOTTEN 500 by Gregory Freeman, documenting the incredible rescue of 500 U.S. airmen from behind German-occupied lines in Serbia (Yugoslavia) during WWII.

Nick and Helen were good friends for years before his passing.


Dan Britza

Shares Story

Reading about Helen Delich Bentley on this website made former Mayor of Aliquippa, PA, Dan Britza, share this story on Saturday, April 14, 2012:

(Aliquippa, PA, but it is a town that is truly hurting, dying from poverty, ever since the Steel Mills closed down in the 1970’s.)

“I just visited your site and read about my friend Helen Delich Bentley. She looked me up at Kennywood in the ’80’s because she knew about Aliquippa and found out that I was the Serbian Mayor. She had seen me on CBS Sunday morning and read several articles about us in the New York Times, several national magazines and other TV pieces.

“We had a great conversation and made contact many times after that.

“She brought several members of her Congressional Transportation Committee, including the Chairman from Arkansas, to town and I took them on a tour of the city.

“She even provided the PAT bus.

“Before leaving, she, the Chairman, and I met alone and they both promised help for our community. Within weeks, she got back to me to let me know that a $12 million grant was being prepared for help with our infrastructure.

“We received it and the plan to span 7 years of work mainly replacing streets and the work involved with it.

“I expressed our gratitude many times. She did that and demanded no fanfare which was unheard of in political circles.”


Helen Delich Bentley passes, August 6, 2016

It was with great regret we learned the passing of one of America’s most unique women warriors, a fighter for Justice and Equality and Women’s Rights. She broke the proverbial “glass ceiling” decades ago with all of her notable achievements.

A memorial will be held in Baltimore in October, 2016. Among the crowd is anticipated to be politicians from the highest level, industry colleagues and many of the middle-class and blue-collar workers-all of who cherished her over the years and knew she was a trusted friend to all she met.

Here is a list of just some of thsoe honors she received:

Bachelor of Arts, Journalism with honors, University of Missouri, 1944.·

Awarded 10 honorary doctorates:·
University of Maryland, Doctorate of Laws, 1970·

University of Portland, Doctorate of Humane Letters, 1972·

Bryant College, Doctorate of Humane Letters, 1972·

University of Alaska, Doctorate of Laws, 1973·

University of Michigan, Doctorate of Laws, 1974·

Goucher College, Doctorate of Laws, 1979·

Villa Julie College, Doctorate of Humane Letters, 1986·

Marine Maritime College (ME), 1991·

University of Missouri, Award of Honor, 1993·

University of Baltimore, 1999

Mrs. Bentley’s numerous national and international honors and awards include:·
Containerization & Intermodal Institute’s CONNIE Award·
USS AOTOS Award, 1971·
International Maritime Hall of Fame, 2004·
Governor’s International Leadership Award, World Trade Center Institute, 2006·
Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers: Life time Honorary Member, 1969·
Navy League of the United States, Robert Thompson Award, 1973·
United Kingdom Chamber of Shipping – London, England, Annual Dinner Honoree, 1973·
Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers – New York, Jerry Land Medal Recipient, 1974·
Council of American Masters Mariners, Life Member, 1975·
American Security Council, National Security Leadership Award, 1987·
National Propeller Club – Washington, DC, Maritime Industry Salute to Congress, 1987·
New York Foreign Freight, Forwarders & Brokers Association, recognition plague, 1972·
Marine Society of New York, Honorary Member, 1985

Former Congressman Phil Crane
November 25, 1969 – January 3, 2005
MR. CRANE. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding, and I commend her for taking this special order on this important occasion.
Madam Speaker, on this day 42 years ago, President Harry S. Truman upon the recommendation of the Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, posthumously awarded the Legion of Merit — Chief Commander, to Gen. Draza Mihailovich. This award, which is the highest military honor that can be bestowed upon a foreign national, was granted in recognition of the general’s role during World War II. In the words of President Truman:

“General Dragoljub Mihailovich distinguished himself in an outstanding manner as Commander-in-Chief of the Yugoslavian Army Forces and later as Minister of War by organizing and leading important resistance forces against the enemy which occupied Yugoslavia, from December 1941 to December 1944. Through the undaunted efforts of his troops, many United States airmen were rescued and returned safely to friendly control. General Mihailovich and his forces, although lacking adequate supplies, and fighting under extreme hardships, contributed materially to the Allied cause, and were instrumental in obtaining a final Allied Victory.”

Madam Speaker, I would only pause for a moment on this point, having read that citation from President Truman, and, as I say, upon the recommendation of General Eisenhower, to say that our State Department to this day continues to parrot the falsehood that there is not documentation to support the award that was made by President Truman upon the recommendation of General Eisenhower, and since the Soviets have come clean about the Katyn massacre, I think it is about time our State Department comes clean on this issue.

Madam Speaker, the reason for our tribute to General Mihailovich is first and foremost our gratitude to him and the Serbian people for saving the lives of over 500 American airmen. Despite having been betrayed by the Western Allies as a result of a misinformation campaign spearheaded by the Soviet Union, General Mihailovich orchestrated the rescue of those very same men whose governments had turned their backs on him.

At the end of the war, the Committee of American Airmen Rescued by General Mihailovich was established for the purpose of erecting a monument to the general, in Washington, DC, or its environs, in recognition of the role he played in saving the lives of the 500 American airmen. The committee of airmen will finance the project in its entirety, including construction and any subsequent maintenance costs.

In 1974, the airmen petitioned Congress for permission to erect the monument on public land. Legislation to this end has been introduced in every session of Congress since. I have been the chief sponsor since 1984. In the past, the legislation has had as many as 90 cosponsors in the House. Hearings have been held on it, and twice it has been passed in the Senate by voice vote. Although it has the support of such organizations as the AFL-CIO, the American Legion, and the Air Force Association, the debate over how it will be received by the Yugoslav communist government has been a major stumbling block.

The purpose of this ongoing legislative effort is not so much to make amends for a great historical injustice, or to clear General Mihailovich’s name, but more simply, to provide retired American servicemen with the opportunity to recognize someone who sacrificed his life to save theirs. After 45 years of delays and inaction, the least we can do is provide these remaining rescued airmen with an adequate means to express their appreciation.
Congressional Record — House
Thursday, March 29, 1990
101st Congress 2nd Session
136 Cong Rec H 1341