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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • EMBASSY NEWS & EVENTS

  • 9 May 2019

    The event brought together over 1,000 guests at Ambassador Piotr Wilczek’s Residence. In his remarks Ambassador Wilczek emphasized how together with this year’s anniversaries we celebrate “friendships and historic milestones that illustrate the unique connection between Poland and the United States.”

    Ambassador Wilczek reminded how, along with the 228th anniversary of the adoption of Poland’s May 3rd Constitution and the 100th anniversary of establishing official diplomatic relations between the United States and reborn Poland, we also observe thirty years since the elections that began Poland’s political transformation, twenty years since Poland’s accession to NATO and fifteen years since Poland joined the European Union.

     

    The event’s honorary guest was Republican Senator from Wisconsin Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Subcommittee on European and Regional Security Cooperation, part of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Senator Johnson connected his remarks to Ambassador Wilczek’s speech, calling attention to the common values – freedom, human dignity, democracy – which guided both the authors of the US Constitution and the Polish May 3rd Constitution.

     

    “The ocean separated the United States from European powers. Poland didn’t have this luck, which it why it lost its sovereignty, it lost its freedom – but Poles never lost their spirit,” Senator Johnson emphasized. He expressed his admiration for what Poland has achieved since the fall of communism: “Out of all the countries of Central-Eastern Europe that I’ve worked with, I think that Poland has achieved the greatest success (…) Thank you for your devotion and courage, since they played a pivotal role in opening up freedom for the rest of Eastern Europe and will play a role in opening up freedom for other people around the world.”

     

    During Tuesday’s event Ambassador Wilczek presented high state distinctions to ten Americans who aided Poland’s process of transition from communism and have promoted Polish-American relations: Jonas Martin Frost III, Mary Nell Bryant, William H. Robinson, Oscar Swan, Jeri Ann Thomson, Kristi E. Walseth, Nancy A. Davenport, Francis T. Miko, Walter J. Oleszek and Walter J. Stewart. Former State Department official Benjamin Schmitt was recognized with the Polish Ambassador’s Amicus Poloniae Award.

     

    The celebration also included various artistic and educational elements. American soprano of Polish descent Laura Kafka-Price and Benjamin Schmitt, a former employee at the State Department, sang the Polish and US National Anthems with bravado. During the reception guests could also enjoy American and Polish jazz classics as well as jazz interpretations of popular Polish melodies performed by the Kuba Cichocki Trio, a Polish-American group based in New York City.

     

    Another addition was the exhibit Class of 1926 about the Polish Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States, a gift from the Polish people to America on the 150th anniversary of its independence. The volumes of the Declarations were digitized thanks to the joint effort of the Polish Library in Washington and the Library of Congress, with the support of Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and individual donors. The exhibit was prepared by our Embassy.

     

    Representatives of the Polish government at the event included Tomasz Szatkowski, Undersecretary of State at Poland’s Ministry of Defense. Among the evening’s guests were members of the US government and Congress, diplomatic corps, prestigious Washington think tanks and cultural, scientific and media groups (both Polish and American), as well as students and leaders of the Polonia community.

     

    Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, DC

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