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Thursday, 31 July 2008

"The message of that generation"

On 31 July 2008, President of the Republic of Poland Mr Lech Kaczyński together with Mrs Kaczyńska took part in the Holy Mass celebrated at the Monument of the Warsaw Uprising.

During the ceremony, President Lech Kaczyński delived a speech:

"Today, we are celebrating the 64th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, the anniversary of the greatest partisan battle of the Second World War. An anniversary connected with an exceptionally heroic fight staged by the Warsaw youth and all the Warsaw people, and also the entire Polish Nation since the Warsaw Uprising was the most important part of the Operation “Burza” (“Tempest”)” which covered almost the whole territory of the country, including its Eastern regions. A question may be asked: why do we have such solemn celebrations of this anniversary ? Obviously, in the first place, this is meant to be a tribute to all of them who exemplified such exceptional heroism, those who live no longer though many of them could have lived to see this day today. It is also a tribute to those who survived and instead of being granted a well-deserved award which could be duly expected after the war, they were all too often exposed to repressions and discrimination. There is such a song from the days of the Uprising, the song which was sung in the Mokotów District and which speaks about a parade to be held in the Ujazowskie Avenue. Such a parade was held indeed but it was only in 2004: 60 years after the Uprising. This is like lifetime for that generation, the generation raised in best Polish schools, most patriotic families, also brought up by the Church. They were the great achievement of the Second Republic of Poland. And yet they were fated to receive such a prize in return for their upbringing, for the kind of life they lived, their unique heroism. But after decades they have ultimately scored a victory. Today, we live in a free Poland, we live in a democratic state, we are a safe country. Many ideals cherished by that generation have been accomplished but there are also many to be achieved. The Most Reverend Archbishop was right when he said that it is our fatherland, our state that is a safeguard of our freedom. This state must be stronger and more efficient. This state must be our supreme good if the Republic is to serve her citizens. And for the citizens, the Republic must be the supreme value. This is a message of that generation which is binding upon us and our posterity: our children and grandchildren. Also the generation of great grandchildren of the participants of the Uprising is growing. This is a reason for joy: the fact that among those very young children the tradition of the Uprising is still alive: the traditions of combat and heroism are resurrected. Let us hope things will continue this way.”

After the Holy Mass on the Krasiński Place, a Roll Call of the Dead was held. Towards the end of the ceremony, President Lech Kaczyński laid a wreath at the Monument of the Warsaw Uprising. 
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