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March 3, 2024: Liberation Day of Bulgaria

WHEREAS, 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the Accession of Bulgaria into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); 121 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Bulgaria; and 146 years of the re-establishment of Bulgaria; and,

WHEREAS, during the 20th century, the state of Michigan became a safe haven for thousands of Bulgarian refugees and political dissidents, fleeing from the devastation and horrors occasioned by regional unrest and the repressive terrors of the authoritarian regimes; and,

WHEREAS, Macedonian-Bulgarians built their first church in 1929, on 25th Street, Detroit, under the name Holy Trinity which is today Saint Clement of Ohrid (OHRIDSKI) Eastern Orthodox Church; and,

WHEREAS, the Sunday School “Bulgaria”, the Bulgarian Cultural Center in Troy, along with the Holy Ghost Orthodox Church in Sterling Heights, are instrumental for the preservation of the Bulgarian language, alphabet, culture, religion, and identity; and,

WHEREAS, the governor of Michigan recognizes the contribution of the Bulgarian community to the social equity, cultural diversity, civil society, and economic development of the State;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 3, 2024, as Liberation Day of Bulgaria, and convey my warmest congratulations and best wishes to the Bulgarian Community in the state of Michigan.