28th of November is much more than the “Albanian 4th of July”

On November 28th, 1443, Albania’s National Hero, Gjergj Kastriot Skënderbeu (George Kastriot Skanderbeg) captured the Castle of Kruja (Croia) that once belonged to his father and declared independence from the Ottomans. He then went on to unite the Albanian tribes and statelets and resisted for 25 years against the greatest empire of his time.
Many historians credit him with saving the European civilization from the oriental invasion, as the star of Skanderbeg shined when the Ottomans were in one of their strongest periods of history while the West was terribly divided and weak. Ironically Albania itself eventually became part of the Ottoman Empire and remained a part of it for five centuries.
Finally, again on November 28th of the year 1912, lbania declared independence from the Ottoman Empire.
Ismail Bey Vlora, an elder statesman and diplomat declared the independence of Albania, in the southern city of Vlora, flying the flag of Skanderbeg from the balcony of the building where a national assembly expressed the will of the Albanian nation.
The government of Vlora was short-lived as the Great Powers decided to install a prince from the established royal circle of Europe and the World War I was getting closer.
November 28th figures again decisively in the history of Albania, when on that day, in 1944, the country was liberated from the Nazi occupation. Albania was the only country in Europe that liberated itself without any ground troops from the Allies. (US and British airplanes helped in the certain crucial actions, including the liberation of Tirana.)
By the end of the century, Kosova Liberation Army, the ethnic-Albanian insurgent force that resisted the Serbian state terrorism of Slobodan Milosevic, made its first public appearance, during a funeral on November 28th, 1997. Its main founder and Kosova’s National Hero, Adem Jashari, was also born on November 28th, 1963.
Kosova leaders wanted to declare the independence of their country on November 28th, 2007, but were convinced by Western diplomats to postpone it after the national elections in Serbia.
November 28th is the Independence Day of Albania or the Albanian Flag Day. It is celebrated by Albanians wherever they live. (r.a.)

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