As I write this, it is June 5th, what I’ll call a ‘tween day. It is the day between two historically significant days in the history of Poland.
On June 4, 1989, the Third Republic of Poland rose from the shadows of communism and 40-some years of Soviet domination. On June 4th 2014, Poland celebrated 25 years of freedom. At last, real freedom.
The road to freedom for the Third Republic of Poland was a difficult one, but it came as all Poles knew it would one day. In some sense, that road to freedom began in earnest with the event we will celebrate tomorrow, June 6th–the 70th anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Some Polish troops participated in the invasion of Normandy, but even more were involved in many other aspects of World War II, from pilot who helped defend Britain during the Battle of Britain Bombardment, to the soldiers who finally captured Monte Cassino in Italy 70 years ago this May.
But, it’s not a time to dwell on war and it’s aftermath, not a time to dwell on the sad fate of post-war Poland, handed over as a prize to the Soviets, not the time to dwell on the past. Today is a day to look at the accomplishments of Poland, at one time in history the largest and most powerful nation in Europe. And today, Poland again stands strong and proud. Not only the people of Poland, but all people of Polish descent, and all people who love freedom have something to be proud of today, the fact that freedom does win. Poland is a living example. Happy 25th!