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Warsaw. Ceremonies in front of the Monument to the Fallen in 1920. Speech by President Andrzej Duda

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Celebrations in front of the Monument to the Fallen in 1920 at Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw. The President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, paid tribute to the soldiers who gave their lives in defense of their homeland. The evening ceremony on the eve of the Polish Army Day ended with an appeal of remembrance and laying flowers in front of the monument.

During the ceremony, the president said that those gathered had come to “bow their heads in tribute to their compatriots who died in defense of their homeland.” – But we are also here so that (…) soldiers can see what is the price of defending the homeland, what price is paid for freedom, how much it costs for the homeland to be independent – he noted.

Tribute to the fallen

The president pointed out that there are two places where representatives of the highest state authorities pay tribute to the fallen. – Right here, at the Powązki Cemetery, at the quarters of the soldiers who died in 1920 in the war against the Soviet and Russian aggression against Poland, against the newly reborn Poland. To Poland, which was then less than two years old after regaining independence, after 123 years of partitions, after three uprisings, after generations that lived in captivity. And the second place is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Let us be clear: in fact, in both places we pay homage to the truly dead. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is not only a symbolic place. There is indeed a grave there. There, under this slab, so well known to all Poles, lies a soldier of the Republic of Poland in 1920, unknown, who died defending Poland, said President Duda.

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He also mentioned the last veteran of the Battle of Warsaw, Captain Józef Kowalski, who died 10 years ago. – There is not a single soldier among us today who fought in that battle, not even the youngest. Perhaps one of those still living over 100 remembers somewhere in the darkness of childhood – often better remembered than yesterday by people at a very advanced age – the time of that war. In fact, we today are the depositaries of this memory. That is why I thank you that we are all here together – soldiers, people responsible today for the fate of the Republic of Poland, residents of Warsaw, compatriots, guests from other places – said the president.

He added that the graves of the fallen are a symbolic image of how great was the determination of the fighters. – Honor and glory to the heroes. Eternal memory to the fallen – he emphasized. – Long live Poland – with these words the president ended his speech.

“Heroes will be remembered forever”

The head of the Ministry of National Defense, Mariusz Błaszczak, also emphasized that the celebrations give “a very clear, clear and strong signal that for today’s soldiers of the Polish Army, their ancestors are a role model”.

– Nowadays, when the Russian empire, this time Putin’s, is being reborn again, this challenge of love for the homeland, of patriotism, is a very current challenge – he pointed out. – Our memory of the heroes of 1920 will be eternal. We will always remember those who showed how to love the homeland – noted the head of the Ministry of National Defence.

The evening ceremony at the Powązki Military Cemetery ended with an appeal of remembrance and laying flowers at the monument. Immediately afterwards, the president went to the Orthodox Cemetery in Wola to lay a wreath at the Monument to the Soldiers of the Ukrainian People’s Republic. In turn, the head of the Ministry of National Defense went to Ossów, where there will be an appeal of remembrance and a salute of honor under the cross of Fr. Major Ignacy Skorupka.

On August 13-15, 1920, on the outskirts of Warsaw, the decisive battle of the Polish-Bolshevik war, known as the Miracle on the Vistula, took place. It was played in accordance with the operational plan, which, based on Piłsudski’s general concept, was developed by the chief of the general staff Tadeusz Rozwadowski, Col. Tadeusz Piskor and Capt. Bronislaw Regulski. The Battle of Warsaw was recognized as the eighteenth ground-breaking battle in world history. She decided to preserve Poland’s independence and stopped the spread of the Bolshevik revolution to Western Europe.

Main photo source: PAP/Adam Nowak

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