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Sunday, 11 November 2018

President: I am convinced that under the white and red flag there is a place for each of us

  |   Poland's independence centenary Poland's independence centenary Poland's independence centenary Poland's independence centenary Poland's independence centenary Poland's independence centenary Poland's independence centenary

Dear Compatriots,

Honourable Marshals of the Sejm and Senate,
Honourable Prime Minister,
Honourable Madam Deputy Prime Minister,
Honourable Ministers,
Honourable Members of the Parliament, and Senators,
Eminences, Cardinals,
Excellencies, Bishops, Archbishops,
Representatives of the Diplomatic Corps,
Excellencies, Ambassadors,
Dear Generals, Officers, Soldiers, Officials,
All Distinguished Guests,
Inhabitants of Warsaw,
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!

Thank you for this beautiful ceremony. Thank you for having followed my appeal - you have come with white and red flags, there is a forest of white and red flags. Thank you for making it possible to pay tribute in such an amazing way to those to whom we are indebted for a free, independent, sovereign Poland.

To those who regained it back in 1918. To those who later fought to preserve its borders, defended it in 1939, fought in the underground movement to recapture it. Then, they did not yield to the Soviet communist yoke and continued to fight, they were losing their lives. To those who took to the streets to protest, to demand decent living conditions, decent work, pay and, finally, to put it simply: to demand freedom. To those who were suffering and dying, so that we could regain Poland and thanks to whom we have regained it.

See also: Poland's independence centenary Thanks to them we have it today, white and red flags can flap over our heads without restriction, and we can sing our anthem: "Mazurek Dąbrowskiego” with joy. We can rejoice and be together, feeling this great bond - a fraternal bond of a common tradition, a common language and a common culture that grew up on the trunk of 1052 years of Christianity.

And this is what we do today, especially in this place - here, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Here, where an anonymous boy lies, a “Lvov Eaglet”, a teenage volunteer, indicated by a randomly chosen mother of a soldier who died fighting for the Republic of Poland.

Mum, are you with me? I can't hear your words....
I feel a bit dizzy.... We defended Lvov!
I fought as well as the older ones - Mum, praise me!
It is only that I feel sorry for you, sorry for Poland.
With a real rifle in my hand I took the first I watch.
Oh, don't cry over your son, who has fallen the Home Country.

How grateful we are to them! What a profound tribute we owe to all of them! These are our heroes, unforgettable heroes, whose memory - I believe in it - will be revered in our country for ever and ever, not only for the next hundred years.

Ladies and Gentlemen, God held us in His custody and we were also very fortunate to have had such soldiers, such a society and such leaders. People who were not only extremely brave and intelligent, apt - like the Fathers of Independence: Marshal Józef Piłsudski, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Roman Dmowski, Wincenty Witos and others - but also people who knew how to stay together, they knew how to rally in pursuit of this most important goal: to regain Poland, simply to bring it back to existence.


Although they had different views and served different ideas, one thing they had in common beyond any difference: a free, independent, sovereign Poland. And they achieved it by engaging in diplomatic and political activities. And, the also knew how to brush aside their own ambitions for the good of Poland, like Ignacy Daszyński, as he placed his office of Prime Minister of the Lublin Government in the hands of the Marshal Józef Piłsudski. How important these moments were! And how much wisdom and love of their Home Country they showed! Next to the soldiers of Polish freedom, let them also be a model for us to follow, how to build a free Home Country and a strong state.

Feuds never serve to build a strong state. They unsettle the process. The Second Republic found it out first-hand, as unfortunately, after less than 21 years, it was defeated by Soviet and Nazi invaders; by the Russians and Germans. How difficult it was later to return to free Poland; how difficult it was to regain this independence again.

Thank you for being here today under the white and red flags on this great day, the celebration time of the free, independent and sovereign Poland. I would like us to always be able to rally together this way. I am convinced that under the white and red banner there is a place for each of us, regardless of his or her views! Because in everyone, as I firmly believe, there is rooted love for the Home Country, for independent and sovereign Poland.

I appeal once again: let us be together to build the country. Let us rally to our colours, to our anthem, to the noble cause of a sovereign, independent Poland, but also a more prosperous Poland, one in which people simply live a normal peaceful life. Poland that is safe, with a fully operational army, with active, well-functioning alliances, with friendly armed forces training and present on our territory.


Above all, however, Poland with a strong and united society, with responsible politicians who strive every day to make the country stronger, better governed, so that its people can live a good life. To make them think that they live in a fair and honest state, where honesty prevails, not cynicism and dirty tricks. Where the authorities pursue this goal. This is what I wish for Poland and all of us.

And I have my object in this: I would like us to draw for the next one hundred years on the great process that unfolded in the Second Republic, which was rebuilt from a complete non-existence. And yet the state was built, which was developing more and more efficiently, which had a new port - Gdynia - and the Central Industrial District. The country which had a great opportunity to develop dynamically and become one of the European powers.

I would like the reconstruction of the Saxon Palace, which we are inaugurating here today, to be a symbol of a return to these traditions, I would like the Palace to stand here again - to be a visible sign of Poland, which is growing. I would like it to be a public building that each of my compatriots will also be able to see from the inside, and where they will be able to come to deal with their different matters.


Why do all this? I have no doubt that, just as we today look up to the fathers of independence and those who fought for freedom - because we judge them for their deeds, their heroism, their great works, bravery, courage, intelligence, their willingness to work and fight for Poland -  so we shall be judged in a hundred years' time, by generations that are raised and will continue to be raised for over the period of next hundred years.

I would like them to say, looking at their Home Country in a hundred years' time, 'Yes, those people who lived a hundred years ago have also done a good service to Poland. They were also responsible while in charge of their country, they were responsible citizens.” This is what I also wish for myself and to all of you, so that we can work and serve our Home Country in such a way that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren can be proud of us.

And to Poland, my wonderful Home Country, I wish that the nation that inhabits it would be a community of faithful, wise, mutually supportive people, who form a community. May Lord always protect our Home Country!

Long live free, independent, sovereign Poland!

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