Source: Republic of Poland in English
President Andrzej Duda on Sunday evening unveiled a plaque commemorating Polish President Lech Kaczyński and the last Polish President-in-exile Ryszard Kaczorowski in Chicago’s St. Ferdinand Church.
Both Presidents died in the 2010 Smoleńsk air disaster, in which a Polish government plane crashed in Smoleńsk, western Russia, 1km short of the runway in foggy weather conditions, killing all those on board. Among the victims were President Kaczyński, his wife and scores of top political and military officials, including President Kaczorowski. The delegation was underway to nearby Katyń for anniversary commemorations of the April-May 1940 Katyń Forest Massacre, in which units of the Soviet NKVD security service mass-executed 22,000 Polish officers, policemen and administration staff.
In his address during the unveiling, Andrzej Duda appealed to the US Polish community to uphold their unity, and appealed to US leaders for a “policy of alliance” towards Poland.
“I would like you to stand united and I would like you to be perceived as being united, also by politicians in the United States, so that they feel respect towards the Polish community, Poles, and therefore also towards Poland; so that they can be sure that if something is not right, Poles will stand up in defence of their country and will not allow their good name to be tarnished,” Andrzej Duda said in Chicago.
Sunday was the last day of Andrzej Duda’s five-day visit to the US, during which he also chaired a high-level UN Security Council debate in connection with Poland’s takeover of the council chair, and met with members of Chicago’s Polish diaspora in the city’s Millennium Park. (PAP)