Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the Macedonian Community in honor of their Independence Day. On September 8, 1991, the Republic of Macedonia voted to officially gain its independence from the former Yugoslavia beginning a new era in the proud history of the Macedonian people.
By approving the referendum, the people decided that it was time for their country to forge its own path. This 21st anniversary of their independence provides us all an opportunity to recognize the Macedonian Community's significant contributions both within our country, and throughout the world.
Macedonia has been a dedicated ally to the United States in the Global War on Terror and has done much to promote liberty and democracy throughout Europe and the world. With American cooperation and support, Macedonia has emerged as a center of multi-cultural peace and stability in a part of the world known for strife and ethnic tensions. Their staunch support of freedom makes them a model for other countries in the region, and their commitment to a U.S.-Macedonia relationship will lead to a richer, more prosperous future for citizens of both countries.
As a way to recognize this partnership, I started the first Congressional Caucus on Macedonia and Macedonian-Americans. This Caucus is a bipartisan group of members of Congress dedicated to maintaining and strengthening a positive and mutually beneficial relationship between the United States and the Republic of Macedonia, as well as advocating for the concerns and interests of the Macedonian community in the United States.
Michigan's 10th District has one of the largest populations of Macedonian-Americans in the Nation. I would like to acknowledge their contributions to our District and our State, and I look forward to continuing that relationship as we deal with the problems facing our great Nation.
Again, congratulations to the Macedonian community for their achievements as we commemorate the anniversary of their independence.