It seemed that former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton, would have a quiet evening Friday night in New York, but instead they had a dinner with mixed feelings. Last week they went to dinner at the Sea Fire Grill restaurant and a waiter approached them. Once settled on their table, the boy knelt before Bill and thanked him for saving his life. Hearing the story, the former president shook the waiter's hand, and tears peeped through his eyes.
According to the Daily Mail, the Albanian waiter spoke to Bill Clinton and told him that he lived through the horrors of the Kosovo war in the 1990s. "Lord, I want to thank you. If it were not for you, I would not be alive today." At that time, the employee was 16 years old and was tortured along with his father and other members of his family by Yugoslav soldiers. In 1999, in an attempt to stop the attack, then-President Bill Clinton launched a campaign to force Yugoslav troops to leave Kosovo.
The 32-year-old waiter - who asked to keep his identity anonymously for fear of immigration authorities - said that thanks to those military orders, he had managed to survive and flee Kosovo. As a teenager, the young man and his family entered the United States in 1999. At the end of the dinner, the Clintons shook the hands of other members of the restaurant staff, who were mostly of Albanian origin.
VER GALERÍA Hillary Clinton poses in front of her husband's statue in Pristina in 2010. Photo: Getty Images
For many Kosovars and victims of that war, Clinton was a key player in pushing for an end to the war. After 78 days of intense bombardment, the Yugoslav army left the area and Kosovo was under the supervision of the United Nations. Such is the gratitude of the Kosovar people to Clinton that in 2009 a large bronze statue was placed in his honor on the boulevard that also bears his name in the city of Pristina, Kosovo.