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Heard on the Hill: Honoring His Family History

Sen. Mark Begich spent the weekend getting his Croat on.

The Alaska Democrat visited Croatia to address an international conference on Eastern European military and national security issues.

The only Senator of Croatian descent, Begich made his first visit to the land of his forefathers.

He planned to thank the government and the Croats for their international peace efforts.

“Croatia has made enormous progress since the war that devastated the region barely 15 years ago,” Begich said in a statement last week. “The nation is a great partner to the United States with its commitment to peace-keeping around the globe.”

Fun fact: Begich’s grandfather, John Begic, emigrated from Croatia in 1911. He passed through Ellis Island (where the “H” was tacked onto the end of his last name) and eventually settled in Minnesota.