As expected, Kosovo declared its independence today. Leaving political analysis for the moment, I just returned from downtown Stuttgart where a large crowd of Kosovars held an independence celebration. There was champagne, dancing and Albanian and American flags as far as the eye could see. Your trusty correspondent naturally had his camera to capture this historic day.
I met many Kosovars who repeated the joyous handshakes, hugs and praise that I’d heard while visiting last year. American flags were second only to Kosovar flags of course and several German and British flags were flown as well in recognition for their role in the NATO liberation of Kosovo.
After 9 years and many false starts, Kosovo’s day has finally come and although independence will be supervised, political problems will persist and life won’t be transformed overnight, I believe that for today at least, we should all stop to celebrate and reflect on the very good deed done by NATO and the very real, positive and long lasting effect it has had on a people and a new country. With all the conflicts and problems that we have today, and that we constantly discuss on this site, I was truly moved by the outpouring of emotion and celebration and seeing Kosovars declaring their independence today and was especially proud that my country took part in an act of good in our troubled world. Every American should be.
So here it is, Kosovar Independence as celebrated in Germany: