A great man is one who collects knowledge the way a bee collects honey and uses it to help people overcome the difficulties they endure - hunger, ignorance and disease!
- Nikola Tesla

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
- Franklin Roosevelt

While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken.
- Woodrow Wilson

Louis Cukela

Louis Cukela (May 1st, 1888 - March 19th, 1956) was a famous United States Marine. He was awarded both the Navy and Army Medals of Honor, as well as numerous decorations from France, Italy, and his native Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

He was born and raised in Split (while it was still under Austro-Hungarian rule), and subsequently attended the Merchant Academy and later, the Royal Gymnasium, both for two years. In 1913, Cukela emigrated to the United States and, with his brother, settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

On September 21st, 1914, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. Three years later, on January 31st 1917, with war raging in Europe, he enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps. Following the United States' entry into the conflict, he went to France and fought alongside his servicemen in the 5th Marines.

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He was awarded both Medals of Honor for the same action near Villers-Cotterets, France, on the morning of July 18th, 1918, during the Soissons engagement. The 66th Company, 5th Marines, in which Cukela was then a gunnery sergeant, was advancing through the Forest de Retz when it was held up by an enemy strong point. Despite the warnings of his men, he crawled out from the flank, advanced alone towards the German lines and demolished the remaining portion of the strong point from the shelter of a nearby gun pit.

In addition to the two Medals of Honor, Major Cukela was awarded the Silver Star by the Army; the Medaille militaire (he was the first Marine officer ever to receive this medal), the Legion d'honneur in the rank of Chevalier, the Croix de guerre with two palms, another Croix de guerre with silver star, all by France; the Croce al Merito di Guerra by Italy; and Commander's Cross of the Royal Order of the Crown of Yugoslavia. He also received three Second Division citations.

Major Cukela received a field appointment to the rank of second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve on September 26th, 1918 and was selected for a commission in the regular Marine Corps on March 31st, 1919. Promoted to first lieutenant on July 17th, 1919, he was advanced to the rank of captain on September 15th, 1921. His promotion to major was effected on the day of his retirement, June 30th, 1940. After the war, Major Cukela served on overseas bases in Haiti, Santo Domingo, the Philippines, and China, and at domestic stations in Quantico, Virginia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Norfolk, Virginia; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Mare Island, California; Washington, D.C.; Nashville, Indiana, and Fort Knox, Kentucky.

On the 19th of March, 1956, Major Cukela died at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland. Following services at St. Jane Frances de Chantel Church, Bethesda, he was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, March 22nd, 1956.

His citation from the Navy reads:

For extraordinary heroism while serving with the 66th Company, 5th Regiment, during action in Forest de Retz, near Viller-Cottertes, France, 18 July 1918. Sgt. Cukela advanced alone against an enemy strong point that was holding up his line. Disregarding the warnings of his comrades, he crawled out from the flank in the face of heavy fire and worked his way to the rear of the enemy position. Rushing a machine-gun emplacement, he killed or drove off the crew with his bayonet, bombed out the remaining part of the strong point with German hand grenades, and captured two machineguns and four men.

His Army citation reads:

When his company, advancing through a wood, met with strong resistance from an enemy strong point, Sgt. Cukela crawled out from the flank and made his way toward the German lines in the face of heavy fire, disregarding the warnings of his comrades. He succeeded in getting behind the enemy position and rushed a machinegun emplacement, killing or driving off the crew with his bayonet. With German hand grenades he then bombed out the remaining portion of the strong point, capturing 4 men and 2 damaged machineguns.


SA

 

People Directory

Bishop Damaskin (Grdanički)

The vacant episcopal post of the American-Canadian Diocese was filled on June 22, 1938 at the Regular Session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Elected as its second Diocesan Hierarch was Bishop Dr. Damaskin (Grdanicki) of Mukachevo and Priashevo.

Bishop Damaskin was born in Leskovac in 1892. He graduated from the nine year St. Sava Seminary in Belgrade, while simultaneously attending the Belgrade Music School. After finishing the Seminary, he taught music at the First High School in Kragujevac. Received into the monastic order at Rakovica Monastery by Archimandrite Platon, later martyred as Bishop of Banja Luka, he studied at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy where he received a Master's Degree in Theology in 1917. He then went to Freiburg, Switzerland where he obtained a Ph.D. in Philosophy.

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Publishing

The Hagia Sophia

The Mystical Light of the Great Church and its Architectural Dress

by Charalambos P. Stathakis

Dear reader, as you run like the rest of us along the dizzy main road, stop, stay aside for a while. Let the others be dizzy, and take the secret underground trail, which will lead you through the dewdrops of the leaves, the crystal smile of the sun, the city’s underground galler- ies, your knowledge, and your feelings, to the doorstep of the Hagia Sophia. Because all dew- drops, all sunrays, and all beauty lead there. That is what you will be told by my friend, the author, whom I am fond of and whom I send you to, Charalambos Stathakis: the doctor, the warm and humane researcher, the scientist devoted to his work and his patients, who has given a series of scientific papers, who, nevertheless, retains a nest of beauty untouched in his heart, which makes him outstanding—even though he is not a specialist in architecture, nor a historian, nor a theologian, nor a Byzantinist—it makes him stand out in all these together and in entirety.

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