A Special ‘Thank You’ to American Serbs from HRH Crown Prince Alexander of the Serbian Royal Family regarding his father, King Peter II / January 2013
Aleksandra’s Note: My thanks to Mr. Branko Terzic for sharing Crown Prince Alexander’s message to the American Serbs regarding his father King Peter II and the transfer of the King’s remains to Serbia. This statement can also be found in the February 8, 2013 issue of Srbobran.
Statement of HRH Crown Prince Alexander II
to the Serbs in America
This is to thank the three generations of Serb descendants in America who have for the past forty three years respected, honored, and protected the tomb of my father, King Peter II, at the Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Libertyville Illinois. Many of you I know personally having lived in Chicago as a young family man and from my many visits these past sixty years. In some cases I also knew your parents and even grandparents just as my father knew many of them.
My father’s resting place these past four decades has been among his friends, soldiers and fellow refugees from World War II at our cemetery in Libertyville. Whatever tragic consequences my father, King Peter II, suffered as a result of World War II, they were no greater than those suffered and endured by your own parents and grandparents who, like him, were wrenched from their beloved country and thrown out into a strange and sometimes hostile world. These blessed souls, your families, my father’s friends, arrived and lived with him in the United States after World War II as refugees and “displaced persons” sometime pejoratively called “DPs”.
My father was born a King and fulfilled his duties faithfully as best as he could under the circumstances. During World War II your parents and grandparents chose whether to be Royalists. They were the military professionals of the Royal Army who became prisoners of war in 1941, or they chose to join the Chetniks and other members of the Royal Yugoslav Army of the Homeland under General Dragoljub Draza Mihailovich rather than join the Partisans. For the choice your parents and grandparents made I know my father was grateful just as I am grateful today for that exercise of free will and display of loyalty.
To bring my father home required some difficult decisions in the face of possibly long and unsettling proceedings. The circumstances of my father’s death and funeral in 1970 are best left to history. Thus, a quiet and dignified transfer was arranged. I know all who respect the monarchy and my father’s memory understand that his return was necessary and long overdue. King Peter’s final resting place at the Royal Mausoleum at Oplenac nearby his father King Alexander I in the now free and democratic Serbia will be open to you at all times to come and pay the respect you were unable to demonstrate last week. Thank you again for your past and continued loyalty.