A Special Truth in Media Memorial

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June 28, 2000

St. Vitus Day 2000

Kosovo: Historical Perspective

Vidovdan 2000



BATTLE OF KOSOVO - June 28, 1389

KOSOVO-girl.jpg (32298 bytes)"Kosovo Polje" stands for a "Field of Blackbirds" in a literal translation from Serbian. But this Field of Blackbirds is also a field of death. And a shrine for Serbian patriots who gave their lives in defense of their country and Christianity.

On June 28, 1389, a mighty battle was fought at Kosovo Polje. It pitted some 80,000 Serbian knights - defenders of Christ's holy cross. against the invading Ottoman Empire (Turkey) adherents of the Muslim crescent moon.

The Christian medieval Europe was fretting and hoping that the Serbs' holy cross would prevail over the Islamic crescent moon. At one point, the bells of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris rang out in premature and erroneous salute to the Serbs' victory.

But it was not to be. The Serbs were defeated. One of them, however, Milos Obilic, managed to rip  the gut of the invading Sultan, Murat, with his sword, killing him, before being cut to pieces himself by the Sultan's guards.

For 600 years and counting, Kosovo Polje, the Field of Blackbirds, has been etched as a place of honor and glory in the hearts and minds of every child born by a Serbian mother. It's like Alamo, Bastogne, Siege of Leningrad (St. Petersbrurg) - combined. On June 28, 1989, the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo, over a million Serbs, 10% of the nation, made a pilgrimage to this sacred ground to pay their respects to the Kosovo heroes. Today, June 28, 2000, they'd have to fight their way there, as this sacred ground is once again occupied by a foreign invader (NATO).

Sooner or later, we will all meet our Maker. And He will ask us the same questions He had asked Prince Lazar 611 years ago:

"Prince Lazar of noble ancestry!

Which kingdom will you choose?

Will you choose the earthly kingdom?

Or you will choose the heavenly kingdom?

If you choose the heavenly kingdom…

All your army will perish,

And you, Oh Prince, will die with them…"

We are sure, you know Prince Lazar's answer:

"Dear God, the earthly kingdom lasts only a brief time,

But the heavenly kingdom always and forever."

Sooner or later Kosovo will once again be free of the temporary NATO occupation.  How temporary? Let us hope - a few months, years... Since the NATO/KFOR has broken just about every term of the armistice agreement signed on June 9, 1999, this gives the Yugoslav Army a legal and legitimate right to return to Kosovo. Any time now. After all, no one is disputing that Kosovo is Serbia's sovereign province, not even the NATO war criminals in the "international community."

But even if it is God's will that it should take the Serbs another 500 years to liberate Kosovo from NATO as it did from the Ottoman Empire, so be it! 

Because Kosovo is Serbia! Always has been, always will be.

The name "Kosovo"

By J. P. Maher Ph. D., Professor Emeritus of Linguistics

Northeastern Illinois University Chicago

"Kosovo" is a Serbian place name, more fully "kosovo polje", meaning the 'field (or plain) of blackbirds'. "Kosovo Polje" lies just outside the city of Pristina.

Ornithology lesson Among North Americans, Australians, and South Africans, only ornithologists can identify the species in question. Kosovo's "black bird" is no crow, nor raven, no starling nor grackle, but "turdus merula", European cousin of the North American rusty-bellied thrush ("turdus migratorius"), which Americans call the "robin".

In Britain and Ireland "robin" is the name of another species, "erithacus rubecula".

The "four and twenty 'blackbirds' baked in a pie", of the English rhyme, were of the species "merula", in Serbian called "kos". From this term "kosovo" is the derived possessive adjective.

Like America's harbinger of spring, the black bird called "kos" in Serbian language sings sweetly in the springtime and early summer.

For North Americans the feel of the Serbo-Croatian place name "Kosovo" can only be had from a free translation, "Field of Robins".

Albanians have borrowed the word from the Serbs, whose once overwhelming majority was driven down, especially since the Congress of Berlin, by savage aggression from Albanians incited then and in WW I by Austria-Hungary and Germany, in World War II by Mussolini's puppet Albanians, and after WW II by the discriminatory ethnic cleansing of the Stalinist dictator Josip Broz.

Native Indian place names in America have no meaning in English e.g. "Michigan" means nothing in English. In Ojibwa "mishshikamaa" means "it is a big lake".

Just so the place names of Ireland have transparent meaning in Gaelic but are meaningless tags in the colonialist English, e.g. "Dublin" is Gaelic "dubh lin" 'black pool', and "Kildare" is "cil dara" 'church of the oak',

Just so the names of the Serbian province of Kosovo are clear Serbian formations, but have no meaning in the Albanian language.

Proof of the Serbian origin of the name and the loanword status of the immigrant Albanian term is that the word "kosovo" has a clear etymology to anyone who knows a Slavic language, while Albanian "Kosova" is an opaque, meaningless place name in the Albanian language.

Kosovo is Serbian.

(End of quoted text by Professor Maher)

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