Source: Republic of Poland in English
Addressing the gathering at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Piłsudskiego Square in Warsaw on Poland’s Independence Day, President Andrzej Duda stressed that it is a true joy that 100 years ago there were people who could be united despite differences of opinion.
The president’s address was preceded by a gala changing of the guard and a memorial roll-call. The Poles gathered in the Piłsudskiego Square honoured Poland’s independence centenary by singing the Polish national anthem, which was also sung in over 600 places in Poland and worldwide.
“It is a great joy that 100 years ago there were such people, such soldiers and such leaders, the Independence Fathers, who could be united in order to regain Poland as, despite differences of opinion, they had only this one idea in mind,” President Duda said.
“God was protecting us and we were also fortunate (…) to have such soldiers, such people and such leaders – who were not only extremely brave, intelligent, skillful, like the Independence Fathers: Marshal Józef Piłsudski, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Roman Dmowski, Wincenty Witos and others – but who could be together, who could be united to reach this most important goal, namely, to regain Poland, so that it simply could exist, despite the differences of views and despite the difference of ideas they were serving,” the president stressed.
“A free, independent and sovereign Poland was the single idea uniting them,” accented President Duda.
President Duda thanked everyone for taking part in the Sunday celebrations of the hundredth anniversary of Poland regaining its independence to pay homage to “those to whom we owe free, independent, sovereign Poland.”
“Thank you for this beautiful ceremony, thank you that you have listened to our appeal and have come with white and red banners (…) and that in such an amazing way we can pay tribute to those to whom we owe free, independent, sovereign Poland,” Andrzej Duda stressed.
“To those who regained (Poland – PAP) in 1918,” the president continued, “to those who then fought to maintain its borders, defended it in 1939, fought in the underground to regain it and then refused to accept the communist, soviet yoke and continued to fight and die. To those who went out on the streets to demand decent living conditions, work, pay and finally freedom,” the President concluded.
“I wish we could always be together,” President Duda went on to say and added that “I am convinced that under the white and red banner there is a place for each of us, regardless of our views.”The president also said that disagreements never serve in the building of a strong state. “Disagreements interfere with this, which the Second Polish Republic (interwar Poland) also learned and, unfortunately, in less than 21 years was defeated by Soviet and Nazi invaders, by Russians and Germans,” Andrzej Duda said, stressing “how hard it was afterwards to return to a free Poland, how hard it was to regain this independence.”
President Duda thanked the gathered for their presence “under white and red banners”. “It is a great celebration of a free, independent and sovereign Poland. I wish we could always be together,” President Andrzej Duda said during Sunday’s event which celebrated the centenary of Poland regaining independence. “I am convinced that under the white and red banner there is room for each of us, regardless of our views, because, I deeply believe, there is love for the homeland in each of us,” he said.
The Polish president appealed to Poles to be, on Independence Day, focused on the colours of the Polish flag, the national anthem and “the beautiful idea of a sovereign and independent Poland.””But above all, let us be Poland “with a strong and united society, with responsible politicians who try every day to make Poland stronger, better governed, to allow citizens live a better life and believe that they live in a fair state where honesty prevails over cynicism and meanness, and where authority serves this aim,” Andrzej Duda underlined.
“These are my best wishes to Poland and to us all,” concluded the President.
Referring to the rebuilding of the Saski Palace, the head of state said that it should be a symbol of the rebuilding of Poland 100 years ago.
“I want the rebuilding of the Saski Palace, which is being inaugurated today, to be a symbol taken from the rebuilding of Poland 100 years ago and to be a visible symbol of Poland, which has been developing,” he underlined.
“I want us to refer, during the next 100 years, to this great process carried out in the Second Republic of Poland, which was rebuilt from ruins. And there was a state built, that was developing in a more and more efficient way. It was a state with a new harbour in Gdynia, a state with a Central Industrial District, and a state which had a huge chance to develop dynamically and become one of the European powers,” he went on to say.
“(…) I want the rebuilt Saski Palace to be a building open to the public,” he added.
The President also wished his Homeland to have a nation which is a community of people who are faithful and wise, who support each other and who are building a community.Long live a free, independent and sovereign Poland,” President Duda concluded.(PAP)