Brighton High recently rolled out the diplomatic red carpet for the Bulgarian Ambassador to the United States.
Her Excellency Elena Borislavova Poptodorova visited the school on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 as part of a Town Hall sponsored by the Brigham Young University’s Center of the Study of Europe.
Hundreds of Brighton High students in Advance Placement and Model United Nations classes attended the address, titled, “From the Holocaust to the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Tolerance and the History of Europe.”
Poptodorova said she considered it “an honor” to meet and speak with the Brighton students who will be representing her native 7 million-resident country in an upcoming Model United Nations competition. The ambassador also gave students and teachers an insightful look at Bulgaria’s history throughout the world wars of the 20th century and the challenges associated with the rise of democratic rule and capitalism.
“Everybody wanted change to happen,” she said, “but we didn’t know” it would happen slowly, in stages, with hard work and patience. She joked: “We wanted to be teleported” to the days when social, legal, economic and political change was already entrenched in the country.
To create a world of peace, freedom and prosperity and to avoid crimes against humanity such as those committed by the Nazis during World War II she told the students to be vigilant in their awareness of “tolerance and the importance of the moral choice.”
She said: “The United States and Europe are the forces working together to maintain the symbolism of the falling of the Berlin Wall.”
After her remarks, the ambassador, who served in Bulgaria’s Parliament from 1990-2001, entertained queries from the students, who asked insightful questions about the state of her country’s education system and regional differences as a result of the various occupations throughout Bulgaria’s history.