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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • EMBASSY NEWS & EVENTS

  • 8 November 2014

    On the occasion of the 96th Anniversary of Polish Independence, the Embassy hosted a celebration which was preceded with the presentation of state awards. At the invitation of the Ambassador of Poland Ryszard Schnepf, the Embassy was filled with guests from the Polish-American community, Polish Veterans and friends of the Embassy. The honorary guest of the evening was former Prime Minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, now Chirman of the Economic Council of the Prime Minister.

    In his remarks opening the evening's program, Ambassador Schnepf recalled the unique character of this past year during which we celebrated 25 years of the first free elections after 1945, 15 years of NATO Allies and 10 years of European Union membership. The Ambassador emphasized the symbolic meaning behind the election of Donald Tusk to head the European Council, which "is both a personal success of the Polish stateman, as well as a recognition of the accomplishments of our country and all Poles in the past quarter century." Former Prime Minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki spoke of the support which Poles could count on from the United States, both when Poland first regained her independence in 1918, as well as after 1989 when it was necessary to quickly pass socio-economic reforms in the country.

     

    During the course of the program, Ambassador Schnepf, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski, awarded: the Officers Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for "outstanding contribution to the building of democratic society and democratic institutions” to the President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Stephen Heintz, and the Director of the Heritage Foundation Diplomatic Program James Dean; the Knights Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for "outstanding contribution to the support of democratic changes in Poland, for bearing witness to the truth about the situation in Poland during martial law, for his achievements in the field of journalism" to Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post; the Gold Cross of Merit for "outstanding activities in the Polish community, for the popularization of Polish culture and national traditions" to Izabela Rutkowska, who has been active for many years in the Polish Library in Washington, D.C.

     

    Speaking on behalf of all those awarded, Jackson Diehl  recalled with great thoughtfulness the two years he spent in Poland as a correspondent of the Washington Post. "Even with the tough times brought about by Martial Law, we were surrounded by wonderful, compassionate people embracing the ideals that Solidarity promoted, and my wife and I were convinced that the democratic opposition would win in this fight against Communism." 

     

    During the course of the celebration Ambassador Schnepf wished Polish-American Hero Wladyslaw Zachariasiewicz all the best on the occasion of his 103 birthday. The program was concluded with communal singing by all those assembled of "We, The First Brigade."

     

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