Wednesday, September 2, 2009

WORLD WAR II: 70th Anniverary Commemoration held at the Polish Consulate – NYC

- Consul General of the Republic of Poland in New York, Krzysztof Kasprzyk
- Author Jerzy Główczewski addresses the guest at the Polish Consulate

70th Anniversary of the Outbreak of World War II
reported by Staś Kmieć

Why reflect on the past? Because sometimes the past is too important to ignore or ever forget.

On Tuesday, September 1st, people all over the world paused to remember the 70th Anniversary of the Outbreak of World War II.

The Consul General of the Republic of Poland in New York, Krzysztof Kasprzyk commemorated this occasion with a special evening of reflection and remembrance with invited guests at the De Lamar Mansion - the residence of the Consulate in New York City.

Among the honored guests were Polish, Polish-American, British, and Russian Veterans, the Italian and Russian Consul Generals, representatives from Consulates of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Germany, and United States military cadets from West Point representing the Kościuszko Squadron.

“The day is full of memories about an event, which began the most horrible conflict in the recorded history. Here in this room, we represent different, nation-specific, historic experiences, including those connected with WWII,” said Consul General Kasprzyk. “However, I think we all agree that no other military conflict can match WWII in terms of scope and consequences for the fate of the world, especially because of the genocide accompanying it.”

Following a 25-minute documentary which utilized archival footage, guests shared their observations and reflections about the turbulent time period. "It is not how we managed to survive, but what lessons we can draw through the act that we went through this,” said Jerzy Główczewski, the author of The Accidental Immigrant. A Memoir.

Frank Milewski, New York City Division President of the Polish American Congress spoke about what it meant being an American of Polish descent during this time period. ”We were only able to see and feel the suffering through our parents and relatives as this was going on in Poland. As we learned of the sacrifices endured and the courage Poles displayed, how proud we were of this extraodinary heroism.”

Kasprzyk concluded by paying respect to all of the Veterans in attendance. “They are our common heroes. Your ranks are dwindling because so are the cruel laws of nature, but as long as you are here – give testimony! The world and humankind are not smart students. They forget about the mistakes of the past. Let us hope they will never forget the most tragic mistake of the twentieth century when the insane ideology of Nazism pushed such an apparently civilized nation as Germans to the greedy conquer of the world. Luckily, that horrifying goal has never been achieved. Good prevailed, but is it forever?”