Tag Archives: Belarus-US relations

Rep. John W. Wydler, 1966: “let us reaffirm to the Byelorussian people that their hopes have not been forgotten by the free world”

Rep. John W. Wydler (R, New York) was one of several US Congresspeople who made a statement in the US House of Representatives in 1966, on the anniversary of the declaration of independence by the Belarusian Democratic Republic.

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Mr. Speaker, just 48 years ago, after centuries of enslavement and oppression, the Byelorussian people declared to all mankind they were a free and independent people. This declaration followed on the heels of the Russian Communist revolution and the downfall of the Romanovs. The reality of freedom was short lived, for before a full year had passed, the Russian Red Army marched through the countryside and Byelorussia was again under Russian control.

Rahel, the medieval Christian chronicler, wrote many years ago:

“To have freedom is only to have that which is absolutely necessary to enable us to be what we ought to be and to possess what we ought to possess.”

Today Byelorussia is not free. The Byelorussians have no way to assert their own national identity. They cannot be what they want to be, or possess that which they want to possess. They are being denied their own individual history, culture and national pride. They are clearly and simply a ward of the Kremlin.

As freemen who do not take our freedoms and liberties for granted, we are a link between the principles of freedom and self-determination and those who aspire to be free and guide their own destiny. On this 48th anniversary of Byelorussian independence, let us reaffirm to the Byelorussian people that their hopes have not been forgotten by the free world.

Source: Congressional Record

Mayor of New York declares March 25, 1957 Day of Belarusian Independence

In 1957, the Mayor of New York, Robert F. Wagner, declared March 25 the official Belarusian Independence Day and invited the people of his city to ” join with those of Byelorussian origin in prayers for peace, freedom and justice in the world”.

This has been the result of the work of the Belarusian diaspora in the United States in popularizing Belarus in the West, spreading information about the country’s history and current situation.

Below the text of the official proclamation.

OFFICE OF THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK

PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS: March 25, 1957 will be the thirtyninth anniversary of the Proclamation of the free and independent Byelorussian Democratic Republic; and

WHEREAS: Americans of Byelorussian descent are observing this date by reasserting their belief in freedom for all people and reaffirming their conviction that tyranny and despotism cannot long prevail where man so believs; and

WHEREAS: it is universally recognized that the resistance of the brave and patriotic Byelorussian people to communistic totalitarianism has never waned even to this day,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ROBERT F. WAGNER, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby proclaim Monday, March 25, 1957, as BYELORUSSIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY in the City of New York, and call upon all citizens to join with those of Byelorussian origin in prayers for peace, freedom and justice in the world.

(Robert F. Wagner)
Mayor, The City of New York

State of New York Executive Chamber

Belarusian Independence Day in Colorado: March 25, 1984

In 1984, the Governor Richard Lamm of Colorado made an official statement declaring 25 March the Belarusian Independence Day.

This and many similar statements by US officials were the result of many years long work by the Belarusian American community to popularize Belarusin the United States, to spread information about the Belarusian culture and history in the West.

 

Proclamation

Byelorussian Independence Day

March 25, 1984

Whereas, March 25th marks the anniversary of the proclamation of independence of the Byelorussian Democratic Republic; and

Whereas, the Byelorussian Democratic Republic was established following the collapse of the Tsarist Russian Empire but was subsequently annexed by the government of the Soviet Union; and

Continue reading Belarusian Independence Day in Colorado: March 25, 1984

40th anniversary of the Belarusian Democratic Republic: official greeting on behalf of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1958

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Belarusian Democratic Republic, President Dwight D. Eisenhower has sent his greetings to the Belarusian American community through Konstanty Mierlak, President of the Belarusian-American Association and Member of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic.

Continue reading 40th anniversary of the Belarusian Democratic Republic: official greeting on behalf of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1958