Who Are These “Despicable” Serbs? By Wm. Dorich

by William Dorich on May 5, 2014

in Arizona, heroes, military, Serbia, sports, William Dorich (team member), World War I, World War II

Who Are These “Despicable” Serbs? by Wm. Dorich

The following speech was given before the World Affairs Council of Orange County, California in November, 1994. Excerpts of the speech were published the following day in the Orange County Register.

I am grateful to Sir Eldon Griffiths and Dr. Vojin Joksimovich, for inviting me here tonight to offer my views on the other side of the current Civil War raging in the Balkans. As you read future articles by the American media, I hope you will remember aspects of my presentation tonight and consider that these views are written by journalists who do not speak the Serbian language nor read the Cyrillic alphabet and that these journalists are not reporting the war from Serbian territory—relying on Muslim or Croat “runners” to gather the “news” with an their obvious ethnic bias. These reporters have manipulated facts; used numerous photographs of dead Serbs deliberately mislabeled as either Muslim or Croat victims. The most offensive ethic violations involve omission journalism in addition to the media muzzling any Serbian views. I have written hundreds of letters to elected officials over the past 3 years including several to President Clinton… not a single one responded. I was invited to the White House with a group of Serbian Americans to meet with the president and Secretary Madeleine Albright but when the Clinton administration discovered some of my articles in the Serbian press that were critical of the Secretary of State I was uninvited.

So who are these “Despicable Serbs”? I remind my audience that Serbs did sneak across the borders of this nation in the dead of night. There are maritime treaties between Serbia and the United States more than 125 years old. Serbs sold prunes to the American cowboys, taming the ‘Wild West.’ However, few Americans know that 220 years ago, Trans-Oceanic Ship Lines, in New Orleans, was founded by Basil Rosevic, a pioneer from Serbia.

Serbians in California celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first Serbian Orthodox church built on American soil. That church in the gold country of Jackson, California is used to this very day—a testament to the religious convictions of the Serbian people and their rightful place in a nation they helped to build. Not one time in that 100 years have the people of this nation read in their newspapers that a Serbian Orthodox priest sexually molested a child.

American-Serbs have proven time and again their dedication and commitment to the United States. Serbs proudly served in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. The Dokman family of Kansas City and the Grbich family of Reno had as many as seven sons in the military service at the same time during World War II. A building at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs is named for Lance Sijan, a Serb who escaped from his Vietnamese captors three times in spite of his broken hip. He was a cellmate of Senator John McCain who never mentions his name. Sijan died in a bamboo cage the size of a coffin, built to keep him from escaping while Senator McCain spilled his guts to the Vietnamese to keep from being killed. When the Serbian Orthodox church in Phoenix Arizona was recently desecrated with filthy Croatian words, Senator McCain remained silent.

As early as 1905, a young American-Serb from the south side of Chicago, Rade Grba, was awarded The Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in the Navy. There are 8 Serbian Congressional Medals of Honor recipients, representing one award for every 150,000 of the 1.2 million Serbs in this country. No other ethnic group can claim this statistical place of honor. The first person in history to receive 2 Congressional Medals was Lou Cukelja who also received the highest decoration given by France, Belgium and Serbia. There are thousands of Serbian Purple Heart recipients. American Serbs can be proud of the youngest Two-Star general in the American army, Rudy Ostovich III and Two-Star General Mel Vojvodich. Ed Radkovich headed Air Force Intelligence in Europe and Brigadier General George Karamarkovic the US Marine Corp. The U.S. military also included Ret. Admiral Stevan Mandarich and Ret. Col. Mitchell Page. Vern Pupich was the test pilot of the DC3 before WWII. The NASA space program is replete with Serbian engineers and scientists. Thirteen top executives in the Apollo space program were Serbians. After the Apollo disaster, the new escape hatch was redesigned by Danilo Bojic my friend who lives right here in Downey, California. Mike Vucelic received the Freedom Award from President Johnson for his work in the Apollo Program.

Velko Gasich was responsible for the B-2 and was an executive vice president of Northrop.

Mladen Sukolovich, known to the world as Karl Malden, is the recipient of the Academy Award for his performance in A Street Car Named Desire and an Emmy for his role in Fatal Vision. He was the president of the Motion Picture Academy. Lolita Davidovich, Peter Bogdanovich, Steve Tesich, and Rick Rossovich add their talents to the American cinema. Descended from Catherine the Great of Russia, Princess Elizabeth Karadjordjevic heads the Princess Elizabeth Foundation in New York. Her daughter, Catherine Oxenberg, has made a name in American television. Natalie Nogulich won our hearts on Broadway with the late Jason Robards in The Iceman Cometh, Ms. Nogulich is also known for her appearances in numerous television plays and films.

In the field of medicine, Dr. Ninoslav Radovanovic is recognized as the world’s leading cardiovascular surgeon. The late Rose Ann Vuich was the first female elected to the State Senate in California—a freeway in Fresno California is named in her honor. Helen Delich Bentley served 10 years in Congress representing the state of Maryland. In U.S. Federal District Court in Chicago is Judge George Marovich. In the 2nd Judicial District Court in Nevada is Steven Kosach.

William Jovanovich became president and CEO of Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, one of America’s most prominent publishing firms. William Salatich was the president of Gillette Corporation. Michael Bozich was the former head of the merchandising group at Sears. Milan Puskar is president of Milan Labs, one of America’s leading pharmaceutical firms in Morgantown, West Virginia where I was born. Milan Panic was president and CEO of ICN Pharmaceuticals and was the highest paid corporate executives in Orange County, California. Dr. Alex Dragnich is the recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award for distinguished service to Vanderbilt University, he is author of numerous books on Yugoslav history and politics.

In sports, Bora Milutinovich was the coach of the U.S. Soccer Team in the 1994 World Cup playoff. George Glamack was a pioneer in professional basketball. He was recognized as the first all-time, all- American to play the sport. He was also the first three-time all-American. Vlade Divac was a star center of the Los Angeles Lakers—following in the footsteps of “Pistol Pete” Maravich, a legend. In football, Serbs played a major role with such great athletes as Jim Nadich, Norm Bulaich, Pete Stojanovich, Ed Obradovich, Jim Obradovich and Pete Lasetich. Sam Jankovich, the former general manager of the New England Patriots was the athletic director at the University of Miami during the Hurricane’s national championship, I am proud to call Sam a friend. In baseball there are such Serbian greats as Pete Vuckovich, the 1982 Cy Young award winner. Eli Grba, Nick Strincevich, Walt Dropo, John Vukovich, and Paul Popovich were outstanding in this field. Even in car racing we remember Bill Vukovich, two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 who was fondly known as the “Mad Russian,” in spite of the fact that he was a Serb.

But, that’s current history, a polymath, the father of the radio, a genius scientist who excelled in numerous areas was Nikola Tesla, the son of a Serbian Orthodox priest. His invention of using alternating current lit up the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago and was the precursor to the harnessing of electrical power at Niagara Falls that led the industrial revolution of this nation and the world. It was his invention of radio-guided vehicles that made our space exploration possible. The United States government recently issued a postage stamp in his honor. Michael Pupin was an author, physicist and inventor. He was also a Pulitzer Prize winner. A building at Columbia University is named in his honor. Dr. Henry Suzzalo was born in Herzegovina and was the president of the Carnegie Foundation on the Advancement of Teaching—an institution that today demonizes the Serbian people with collective guilt.

Who are these despicable Serbs? They were our allies in two World Wars in which they lost 52% of their adult male population, they are your friends, neighbors, colleagues and people who helped build this great nation.

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1 alverta71 November 9, 2016 at 5:31 pm

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