100 years of independent Poland!

            The centenary of the rebirth of the Polish state gives us a sense of participation in the historical chain of generations and pride in Polishness. 

            We should draw inspiration from the way our nation managed to survive and preserve its faith in the freedom of its homeland. It is worth returning to the moments when Poles made a collective effort to demand their rights and the values they hold dear. For the word 'Republic' contains our history, the memory of the experiences of past generations, their sacrifice at the cost of the supreme sacrifice in defence of the Homeland. Reaching back to the experience of the fathers of Polish independence, we can write new, beautiful pages in the history of Poland.

Marek Kuchciński


The celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Poland's regaining of independence began on November 10 with a mass at St. John's Archcathedral in Warsaw.

The President, Speaker of the Sejm, Speaker of the Senate, Prime Minister, parliamentarians and ministers then took part in the ceremony of unveiling the monument to the late President Lech Kaczyński at Piłsudski Square.

The celebration of November 11 in the capital city began with placing wreaths at the grave of the late President Ryszard Kaczorowski and the plaque commemorating the victims of the Smolensk catastrophe in the Pantheon of Great Poles in the Temple of Divine Providence. Then the Holy Mass was presided over in the Temple of Thanksgiving by the Apostolic Nuncio in Poland Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, and in his homily the President of the Polish Episcopal Conference Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki said that the dignity of all authority derives exclusively from the fact that it performs its tasks within the limits of the moral order whose source and goal is God. The Mass was followed by a ceremony to unveil commemorative plaques at the Oaks of Independence.

A quarter of an hour before noon there was a ceremonial guard briefing to commemorate the National Independence Day combined with the Independence Day Remembrance Appeal. For the first time in history the Marshal's Guard participated in the full ceremony and posted an honor guard in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. For the first time in its composition there was a woman, an SM officer Katarzyna Bożek.

After singing the national anthem at noon, President Andrzej Duda took the floor. - Thank you for listening to the appeal and coming with white and red banners, there is a forest of white and red flags. Thank you that we can pay homage to those to whom we owe free, independent, sovereign Poland in such an amazing way," said the President. - I wish we could always be together in this way. I am convinced that, regardless of his views! Because in everyone, I deeply believe, there is love for the homeland, for independent and sovereign Poland - said Andrzej Duda. After the speech, the President together with the Speakers of the Sejm and Senate and the Prime Minister laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Everyone made an inscription in a commemorative book on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of regaining independence. The guard briefing ended with a parade, after which the most important state officials laid wreaths in front of the Józef Piłsudski Monument.

At 2 p.m. Marshal Kuchciński participated in the ceremony of posthumous awarding of the Orders of the White Eagle to 25 Poles distinguished for independence. In the Royal Castle the descendants of great Poles, such as: Wladyslaw Reymont, Maria Sklodowska-Curie, Ignacy Daszynski, Roman Dmowski, Wojciech Kossak, Kornel Makuszynski or Janusz Korczak, received the Orders from the hands of the President.

An hour later the most important politicians in Poland stood at the head of the White-Red March of the 100th anniversary of Poland's regaining independence, going under the slogan "For you Poland". At the Roman Dmowski Roundabout, Andrzej Duda gave a speech and intoned the national anthem. - This is our flag, never white and never red again - said the President. The march gathered several hundred thousand participants who marched in front of the National Stadium. In view of the record turnout, the march of the entire group lasted several hours.

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Photo: M. Marchlewska, R. Zambrzycki/ Chancellery of the Sejm



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