National Day reception in Washington attracts 450 guests
Among guests were US politicians of Slovenian descent like Democrat Senator of Minnesota Amy Klobuchar and retired Senator of Iowa Tom Harkin, as well as government and army representatives and former US ambassadors to Slovenia.
The reception was addressed by Ambassador Božo Cerar, who pointed to the determination of Slovenians 25 years ago to declare an independent state based on democracy, respect of human rights, the rule of law and market economy.
Cerar stressed that Slovenia was committed to participating in the international community as a responsible member of the EU, UN and NATO. He also thanked to the Slovenian community in the US for supporting the independence efforts in 1991 and helping boost Slovenia's relations with the US in business, culture, science and education.
Senator Klobuchar meanwhile spoke about the recently deceased Ohio Senator George Voinovich and his contribution to the independence efforts, the process of Slovenia's recognition and its integration in international organisations.
Cerar also opened an exhibition on the Slovenian independence referendum, set up by the National Archives. It features documents and photographs showing the support for independence from the Slovenian communities in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe.
The guests were offered traditional Slovenian dishes and wine and beer and received booklets on the 25th anniversary of Slovenia's independence issued by the Washington Times.
National Day was also marked with receptions in Knoxville, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Bethlehem, New York and Norfolk. A reception will also be held in Minneapolis on Saturday.