Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj Receives Albania’s Highest Medal of Honor

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj being presented with with the National Honor medal from President Nishani

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj being presented with with the National Honor medal from President Nishani

After honoring the role Albanians played in saving Jewish people during the Holocaust, Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj was presented with Albania’s Honor of Nation Order Metal (otherwise known as, Urdhri Nderi i Kombit) by President H.E Bujar Nishani.

Albania’s Honor of Nation Order Metal is considered the highest medal of honor that can be awarded to a civilian as given by the Republic of Albania. The medal was presented at a dinner at Don Coqui on City Island this past Wednesday. In presenting the metal, President Nishani’s decree stated that it was being presented to Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj in, “…deserved appreciation and gratitude for his distinguished contribution and rare example provided to strengthen the historical Albanian-American ties, and also for aggrandizing the image of the Albanian people and our national values in the United States of America.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. praising Assemblyman Gjonaj and the Albanian Community

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. praising Assemblyman Gjonaj and the Albanian Community

In his speech President Nishani praised Assemblyman Gjonaj for his strength of character, ethics, and his work on behalf of all people. In an emotional speech the Assemblyman gratefully accepted the honor bestowed on him and, once again, committed himself to the Albanian credo of BESA and to working for the protection of all.

Among those speaking and praising the assemblyman were Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo and Norman Seabrook, President of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association ( COBA). Mr. Seabrook presented President Nishani with an award and praised the work being done by Assemblyman Gjonaj.

Assemblyman Gjonaj was recognized as the first person of Albanian ancestry to be elected to public office in the United States of America.

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