President of the Republic of Poland / News / Television address of the Presidential Couple broadcast on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the regaining of independence

Source: Republic of Poland in English

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President Andrzej Duda:

Dear Compatriots! On the eve of the National Independence Day we would like to sharewith our joy.

One hundred years ago, on 11 November 1918, precisely here, at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the Regency Council handed over to Józef Piłsudski the command of the Polish army, and three days later, the full powers in the independent Polish state.

First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda:

Dreams of four generations of Poles came true! A free Poland was reborn!

President Andrzej Duda:

After 123 years of partitions – captivity, persecution and effort to deprive the Polish people of their national identity, after insurgent struggles and the organic work, the partitioning powers had to withdraw from Polish soil.

The Poles managed to fully seize the opportunity given to them after the First World War. The sense of national identity, the strength of community and the skills of our leaders brought victory. We regained our own state! Sovereign Republic of Poland returned to the political map of Europe.

First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda:

The Holy Father John Paul II emphasized that free Poland survived in family stories and heirlooms, in the traditions of the Polish countryside and of the Polish manor house. Patriotic songs, literary works, masterpieces of painting and music, works of historians and scholars continuously sustained the faithin the rebirth of the Home Country.

President Andrzej Duda:

Faith, hope, and love of our Home Country were all preached to us by our parents, our mothers and fathers.

First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda:

Yes, today we do recall brave Polish women who guarded their hearths and homes, passed on memories and tradition to their children and grandchildren. Polish women fought for the Independent Poland on an equal footing with their husbands, fathers and brothers.

President Andrzej Duda:

And no wonder that as soon as Poland regained its independence, it was Polish women – as one of the first women in Europe, that obtained full civil rights from the very outset.

First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda:

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Throughout the whole year 2018, we go on celebrating the 100th anniversary of regaining independence.

President Andrzej Duda:

We recall the achievements of the heroes of the national struggle for freedom. Eminent statesmen, whom we call the fathers of independence. But also, equally, eminent persons known mainly in their towns and regions, local heroes of the struggle for a free Poland.

I would like to thank everyone who, in response to my appeal, lent a civic, universal and local dimension to these centenary celebrations. Thank you for thousands of exhibitions, concerts, shows, illuminations, competitions and sports events.

First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda:

For me, meetings with children and young people were very moving, during whichone could feel how vivid Polish history is and how inspiring for the future. With joy and emotion have we participated in the anniversary celebrations together with the Polish communities, Polonia, during our numerous foreign visits, as well as in the Presidential Palace, where we hosted Poles from the East.

President Andrzej Duda:

Thank you very much for all the initiatives. Tomorrow, exactly at noon in Poland and in many Polish communities abroad, we will sing the national anthem together. We invite you to go out on the streets and squares of your home towns and villages, to meet with families, friends and neighbours.

May the Centenary of Regaining of Independent Poland be celebration time for all of us, Poles. This is the hundredth birthday of our freedom!

First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda:

Let us all celebrate together tomorrow, for a great thing was achieved one hundred years ago: a free Poland was reborn, our common Home Country! Let’s sing loud and joyfully: “Poland has not yet perished so long as we still live”. This is our anthem – the anthem of Independent Poland!

President Andrzej Duda:

May the white and red flag be hoisted on every Polish house. May the national colours be with us everywhere. May they fill us with pride derived from the victory – back then, in 1918, and in the war with the Bolsheviks in 1920, as well as from the victory of ‘Solidarity’ over communism – the victory thanks to which we now have our own sovereign, democratic state.

And of all our every-day victories – professional, social and personal successes, as they are also building the independent Republic of Poland, Poland of the next century.

President Andrzej Duda:

We look forward to meeting you at tomorrow’s celebrations!

First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda:

We shall see you there!

MIL OSI