November 11th – A Special Date For Poles
NEW JERSEY – The 11th of November is a special date for the Poles. Among the many historical events honored by them, Polish Independence Day is particularly special. To remember this day, the Polish School in Lakewood held a special event on Friday evening November 7th, where the students from grade 8, under the supervision of Danuta Rasztubowicz, recalled the most important past events of the Polish nation.
After the singing of the Polish national anthem and the introduction of the director of the Polish School, the artistic part began. Students from grades 5 through 11, parents, and guests gathered there to hear the short play prepared by the class. Each student from the 8th grade wore a red and white ribbon to symbolize Polish Independence. Under the red and white flag of Poland was a big sign that read, “November 11 – Independence Day.” We were also fortunate to have a wonderful exhibition, “From War to Victory, 1939-1989”, which was on display that day and stayed in the school until November 16th. The exhibition caused many emotions, both happy and sad.
After the play, everyone became very interested and carefully listened to the speaker, Mr. Jerzy Krzywonos. He talked about each part of the display, reminding us how important history really is to us. The display, a beautiful decoration prepared by the 8th grade, went all the way around the room. Every single board of the display talked about how Poland regained its independence.
As a student of the 8th grade, to me, the display was very meaningful. Being born in America, it’s always good to know the history of where our families come from. It’s important to know all of this, because if people start forgetting about how hard Poland fought to be its own country, sooner or later the Polish roots will die.
The display at Holy Family School wasn’t only open for the Polish School, but also children attending the Catholic school. Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 had the privilege to explore the display.
We had a memory book where everyone had the chance to write down their thoughts, and each student signed their name. After November 16, the display made its way to Saint Mary of the Lake Church. Not only were the adults fascinated by it, but also the children. I never seen so many children so interested in the history. They walked silently and admired the whole display. And it wasn’t only the Polish people who were so interested in the exhibition, but also the Americans. Each person of the American Culture wrote in the memory book, “This is an amazing and beautiful display. It is so good to know about the extremely important part of the world’s history. We have learned so many new things about Poland that we haven’t learned, and we realized that the Polish people should always be remembered and shared. God bless you all, this display has made a huge impact on my life.”
Big words of thanks are due to Mrs. Katarzyna Pawka, Director of the Polish School, who made that such an important day, and for the wonderful exhibition that we were able to view.
We would also like to give a big thank you to Father Michael Sullivan, pastor of Saint Mary of the Lake Parish, for allowing us to hold the exhibition, and warmly invite the people to join us. I hope to see more of these types of events because it not only warmed my heart, but also the hearts of others.
By Marta Pawka