The 4th of July is a national holiday in the US and it is the most important. It is the right of every people to be free and independent. Unfortunately, the reality is different. Worldwide there is a lot of bondage, oppression and wars that cause a lot of misery. Normally, bloody conflicts are far away from us, from Europe. For 78 years we are used to peace and know nothing else. Generations born after 1945 have no idea what war really is. War means endless human suffering, destruction of livelihoods that have been built up over decades, even centuries, destruction of cultural heritage. Our Eastern neighbors in Ukraine have been experiencing such destruction for 1 1/2 years and there is no end in sight. We stand at the side of Ukraine, sympathize with the plagued people and wish an early end to this totally unnecessary war.
That‘s why we all were the more pleased to welcome five guests from the Ukraine. Four of them had to leave their country, they had no chance to live a normal life, and they have found an intermediary homeland here in Salzburg.
With this invitation to the celebration of the 4th of July, the 247th anniversary of Independence of the US, we want to show the respect we pay to the people of the Ukraine. We are totally impressed by its will to resist, the desire for freedom of the entire people. And we are very happy that the US and many other countries around the world are supporting the Ukraine financially and militarily. We would like to show our sympathy and wish them the future they are dreaming of.
We want to signal to the Ukraine that there is a future, you must firmly believe in it!
Our Ukrainian guests were:
- Burdeyna Olena, comes from Dnipro, has been working with the wailways as an engineer, sponsored by Prof. Dr. Dorothea Steiner!
- Valentyna Graf, Pensionist from Kharkiv, sponsored by Lenardo Kafer
- Viktoriia Melnyk, from Kyiv, studies at the PMU Salzburg, sponsored by Georg Stöllinger.
- Anna Semenschko, from Kyiv, studies European Studies an the University of Salzburg, sponsored by Dr. Rudi Kainz
- Ivan Machynsky, comes from the Western Ukraine, Ivano-Frankivsk, and is the chairman of the Ukrainian Center in Salzburg. He came to Austria eight years ago, studied mechanical engineering in Vienna, and now he has an employment in Salzburg. As chairman of the Ukrainian center he is challenged every day.
It was a real pleasure to welcome Mag. Karin Gerlich from the US Embassy – We have been working together successfuly for so many years!
And it was a real surprise that Mag. Philipp Bodzenta, President of the Austro-American Society Vienna honored us with his visit.
Finally, I had the pleasure wo welcome Dr. Rudolf Kainz, whom we are indebted for financial support for many events.
We are lucky to have a choir, entertaining us at our great events. Thank you Maria Langer and all members of the choir for all your efforts!
Not to forget:
Our Society was founded 77 years ago. 77 years of friendschip between the US and Austria.
Dr. Maria Ganauser