"Love of the Fatherland and freedom"
- You have always been faithful to Poland, you have always been faithful to the message that can be expressed by "Love of the Fatherland and freedom" - said Mariusz Błaszczak, Minister of National Defense during the ceremony organized in front of the monument to the 6th Infantry Regiment ”Children of Lviv” in Piedimonte San Germano in Italy.
On May 17 and 18, the head of the Ministry of National Defense participates in ceremonies organized on the occasion of the 74th anniversary of the battle of Monte Cassino.
- You brought freedom to our Italian friends. We have been waiting for freedom in Poland for over 40 years. (...) One of the most eminent Poles, John Paul II, said that democracy, which is not based on a foundation of values, turns into open or hidden totalitarianism. These values are love for the homeland, solidarity and a sense of freedom. And these values, you heroes from Monte Cassino passed on to future generations - said the head of the Defense Ministry.
- We meet in a year that is important for Poland and Poles, in the year of the centennial of regaining the independence of Poland. And yet here in Piedimonte were fighting soldiers of the 6th Armored Regiment known as “Children of Lviv”, and thus bearing the name of those who went down in history as Lviv Eagles, as those who were so young when they fought for independent Poland - said Mariusz Błaszczak during the ceremony in front of the monument to the 6th Infantry Regiment.
Minister Blaszczak gave the veterans and their families expressions of respect, recognition and gratitude for their fight. He thanked the Piedimonte authorities for organizing the ceremony, but also for the memory of Polish soldiers and for caring for the graves of Polish soldiers.
During the ceremony, a delegation from Poland together with the municipal authorities of Piedimonte San Germano unveiled the commemorative plaque. From today, the hill on which the monument is located is called the Hill of Remembrance. As the head of the Defense Ministry noted, unveiling this plaque by a soldier of the 2nd Polish Army Corps and a student of an Italian school is a great symbol showing Polish-Italian solidarity.
In the afternoon, Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defense together with the Polish delegation and representatives of the Cassino commune authorities, laid flowers in front of the monument of General Władysław Anders. A monument four years ago, on the 70th anniversary of the battle of Monte Cassino, was funded by veterans, soldiers of the Polish Army living in the USA.
The ceremonies in Italy are also attended by soldiers of the 2nd Polish Corps from Poland and abroad, representatives of veterans' organizations, as well as representatives of state authorities and priests.
On Thursday, with the participation of Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, ceremonies were also held at the war cemetery in Mignano Monte Lungo, during which Polish and Italian delegations laid wreaths. The Polish delation after the ceremonies visited the Museum dedicated to the soldiers of the Battle of Monte Cassino located next to the cemetery.
On May 19, Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defense, will take part in the ceremonies at the Monte Cassino Cemetery.