On the second day of his stay in New York, President Andrzej Duda laid a wreath under the Tree of Survival, paying tribute to those murdered in the September 11 attacks. He also spoke with the presidents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Montenegro, as well as with two deputy secretary general of the United Nations.
On Wednesday, the president and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda visited New York’s Zero-Zone, where he laid a wreath under the Survival Tree.
The tree, Callery’s pear tree, survived the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The New York Department of Parks and Recreation took care of a seriously damaged tree with uprooted, burned and broken branches. They were saved and moved back to the Zero Zone.
The presidential couple also visited the waterfall monuments dedicated to the victims of the attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Two large reservoirs, called the “mirror of absence”, were built there. They are located in the place where both buildings, destroyed by terrorists as a result of being hit by planes, stood.
The presidential couple was accompanied by, among others, a Pole, Leokadia Głogowska, who survived the attack. – I was very honored and surprised. The presidential couple was keenly interested and touched by my story – said the woman.
Visit to the Memorial Museum 9/11
President Duda and his wife also visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum. There is a permanent collection of material evidence, testimonials from private individuals, historical records of responses to both WTC attacks, and material reflecting the repercussions of the terrorist attacks.
The exhibition was divided into three parts. The first covers the events of 9/11. The second presents the historical context preceding the attacks. The third shows the world after the events of September 11.
According to the museum, there are 23,000 photos and 580 hours of films and videos. Recovered items include, among others, personal memorabilia and memorabilia from the victims of attacks, huge structural elements of the towers, a fragment of stairs, an engine of one of the elevators, as well as an unbroken window that fell from the 82nd floor, donated by a Polish engineer supervising the removal of rubble.
– What the world admires America for, among other things – is that it has this extraordinary spirit in it and is always rising – said the president later at the Polish consulate in New York. – If they demolished the World Trade Center, then next, leaving memorials. We will rebuild these buildings, more modern, larger. They will show the potential and strength of America in an even more sublime way – emphasized Andrzej Duda.
Referring to the history of Poland, he expressed his belief in the similarities between the United States and Poland. – Sometimes I say we’re like grass. Horsemen run over us from east to west, tanks drive over us, lie down for a while and then get up. We are rebuilding, just like we have rebuilt Warsaw. The strength of the spirit is essentially the same. I think we can say that we have a similar trait to America, said the president.
Andrzej Duda met with the Presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
The Polish president also met the President of the Republic of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid, the President of the Republic of Latvia Egils Levits and the President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda at the seat of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the United Nations in New York.
“The conversation focused mainly on further cooperation, the Three Seas Initiative and the situation in Belarus,” informed the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland.
President Levits announced that the presidents talked about how to counteract the migratory pressure exerted by the regime of Alexander Lukashenka and about the plans for the development of the Three Seas Initiative.
Conversation with the president of Montenegro
Andrzej Duda also met with the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanović, with whom he discussed the enlargement of the European Union. “A very important talk about EU enlargement with Milo Djukanović. Poland and President Duda are one of the biggest promoters of the adoption of the Western Balkans. President Duda emphasizes that without enlargement” the Union will not be truly European “- wrote the head of the International Policy Bureau Jakub Kumoch on Twitter.
Earlier, Andrzej Duda held talks at the UN headquarters with the UN Deputy Secretary General for Humanitarian Aid Martin Griffiths and the UN Deputy Secretary General for Operational Support Atul Khare.
Main photo source: PAP / Grzegorz Jakubowski / KPRP