In Commemoration of the 72nd Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising
On Sunday, a solemn commemorative field Mass was celebrated at the Memorial to the Warsaw Uprising as part of the commemoration of the 72nd anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising and a solemn, memorial roll call was publicly read. In memory of the insurgents and civilian casualties, the organizers also prepared a concert entitled: “The New Generation 16/44.”
“Rising above all differences, divisions, discussions, this great lesson of Your great act and sacrifice resulted in the fact, that for each Pole, the most important value is the independence of Poland and that there is nothing that could be more important for the Polish nation. This unites us and connects all of us,” said Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz.
The Minister of National Defense Antoni Macierewicz handed the combatant veterans the “Medal of Honor of the Warsaw Uprising, 1944, 1VIII–2 X” to honor their dedication to the independence of the Polish State. Medals were received by: Gen. Janusz Brochwicz-Lewiński, Maj. Eugenia Cegielska, Lt. Ewa Jeglińska, Lt. Barbara Otfinowska, Lt. Jerzy Oględzki, Julian Kulski, Stanisłąw Krakowski, Hanna Szczepanowska, Eugeniusz Tyrajski, Wanda Zalewska-Zdun.
Derfence Minister Antoni Macierewicz stressed in his speech that “there is importance in monuments and medals, built and presented in a broad gesture of respect, admiration and gratitude for incredible heroism and courage.” He noted, however, that “as important as the rebuilding of the destroyed city of Warsaw, is the rebuilding of the memory of the extraordinary heroism of the Warsaw Uprising.”
“The lasting memory of the Warsaw Uprising, is certainly the momentous monument, the Warsaw Uprising Museum. It restores to all generations, thanks to the will and effort and genius of President Lech Kaczynski, the memory of Your act. It restores this memory and has made it become the axis of our struggle for independence, because the Warsaw Uprising was the axis of our national struggle for independence. And this remembrance is something we need to familiarize ourselves with every day.”
“But where are all these great works that should arise? Where are those great films which should be viewed by millions in and outside of Poland? Not only to remember, but to learn about this heroic act, which could not be afforded by any other nation—except by individuals like You. Then, in millions of copies, and in millions of creative pieces of work, we will be able to watch and learn what happened on every street, what was going on in each home at the time. Those events that happened between one courtyard and another, because sometimes between one and the other a memorable, historic occurrence played itself out. Then, we will learn to rediscover the story of our city anew, and to understand how great it really is and what a gift it is to us all—a gift offered to us by Your heroic efforts. Then we will be able to say that we actually fulfilled this mission. And so be it. Glory To the Heroes!” declared Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz in closing.
The Memorial Roll Call and the laying of wreaths at the Monument of the Warsaw Uprising ended the official part of Sunday’s celebration, which began with a concert by “The New generation of 16/44.”
On Monday, the Secretary of State at the Ministry of National Defence Bartosz Kownacki participated in the solemn changing of the guard in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Marshal Józef Piłsudski Square.
At 2:00 pm, Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz laid a wreath at the Monument of the Polish Underground State.
The Marshal of the Polish Sejm Marek Kuchcinski, also taking part in the ceremony, said: “Great historical events leave behind them traces and testimonies, shaping the political identity of States, setting national values and give public life substance. Such events are passed on further, through generations, by building tradition and historical memory.”
Marshal Marek Kuchcinski also spoke about the effects of this event. “After years, it has become the foundation of our Polish identity, together with the anniversary of the January Uprising of 1863, embedded in the historical acquis of the First Republic. It demonstrated the contemporary dimension of our way of thinking about politics, in which freedom is adjacent to tragedy and courage exceeding all limits.” The Marshal of the Sejm thanked all those who had contributed to the memory of the Uprising.
“Written and oral testimony arises from historic events, therefore, those should be remembered, who have preserved the truth about the Warsaw Uprising, and insurgents throughout the period of communism and in resistance to the Communist State.”
Ceremonies were initiated punctually at 5:00 pm at the so-called “W hour” (the honored hour that the Warsaw Uprising began), at Powązki Military Cemetery. Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz attended the celebration in honor of the 72nd anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising at the Gloria Victis Monument. Also present were the Undersecretary of State of the Defence MInistry Wojciech Fałkowski and Bartłomiej Misiewicz the Defence Ministry Spokesperson. Sirens rang out clearly at the ceremony at the Military Powązki Cemetery, followed by a solemn minute of silence in honor of the Insurgents. A government delegation, together with Defence Minster Antoni Macierewicz laid a wreath at the Gloria Victis monument.