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Jul 13, 2024

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“Always A Date To Remember”
November 11, 1918

BALTIMORE, Md. – On the Record is an hour-long program produced by Sheilah Kast that is broadcast here daily on NPR radio station WYPR 88.1 FM. Recorded on November 5, 2018 the program included a 30 minutes segment titled “The Importance of Poland’s 100th Anniversary” featuring interviewees Richard Poremski of the Polish American Journal’s Washington Bureau, and Adam Mazurek, a retired professional librarian now residing at the Henryk Sienkiewicz Polonia Library at the Polish National Alliance – Council 21. Adam is also a recognized and welcomed Story Teller of Polish Folk Tales and Legends, and Richard is presently Chairman of the National Katyn Memorial Foundation.

PHOTO: PNA Members Interviewed. Richard Poremski – Polish American Journal, Washington, D.C. Bureau, and Adam Mazurek – librarian and Polish culture keeper, are depicted in a sound booth at radio station WYPR 88.1 FM with For the Record host and moderator Sheilah Kast after recording a program about Poland’s 100th Anniversary of its regained Independence being celebrated on November 11, 2018. Poremski is Vice President of Council 21 and Financial Secretary of Lodge 238, in Baltimore. Mazurek, a member of Lodge 339, is a professional librarian who manages Council 21’s Henryk Sienkiewicz Library.

     Producer Kast began the first portion of the show devoted to our Veteran’s Day. The second segment dealt with the reemergence of Poland as a nation state on November 11, 1918 after having been partitioned off of the map of Europe for 128 years by Russia, Prussia and Austria. This important date from the first day onward was celebrated officially as Armistice Day both in Europe and the United States, which marked the end of World War I – an ending that sparked a providential beginning for Poland that directly enabled its reemergence as a geographic and political reality. Over the following years November 11th in the U.S. eventually segued officially into Veteran’s Day to honor all who served in all of America’s wars and conflicts. The duality of Armistice Day and Veteran’s Day provided the direct correlation between both segments of the radio broadcast as  recorded and presented.

     The moderator was keenly interested in the significance and importance of Poland’s centennial in today’s Polonia. Polish community representatives Adam Mazurek and Richard Poremski were both very knowledgeable and intercommunicational in supplying answers to the questions posed, as well as voicing their own personal and general relevant observations on Poland’s history, culture and its unvanquished national patriotism – especially in the many times of foreign invasion and dominance. Regrettably, it had to be acknowledged that the most recent generations of average Polish Americans are now very assimilated Americans and mostly apathetic or totally ignorant about the seminal and seismic events of November 11, 1918. Generally speaking, this historic knowledge does not exsist in their memory banks. And if by chance it does exist, it is not held in the same appreciation as that of their lineal grandfathers.

      But it was reiterated to the listening audience by the two guests that the many vibrant Polish American cultural and fraternal organizations, churches and clubs, do keep the memory of the auspicious November day commemorated and widely celebrated every year in a plethora of ways and actions. In that regard, to quote the opening of the Polish National Anthem: “Jeszcze Polska nie zginela” – “Poland is not yet lost’ … so long as we still live,” guarantees that the historic and dramatic meaning of the 1918 Armistice on the “11th Hour, of the 11th Day, of the 11th Month,” will always resonate with the Polish diaspora … the day when the earth shook for Poland. 

To listen to the radio program yourself, please do log onto the WYPR 88.1 FM website, click the On the Record tab, and then the program that aired on Thursday, November 8th, 2018. You can fast forward the recording to minute 14:55 to go directly to the Poland Independence Day portion of the program if you wish, or just enjoy the complete very interesting program from its beginning to end.

     The Polonia and Poland are greatly indebted to Sheilah Kast for conceiving the program, and to WYPR for broadcasting it.

      Bardzo wam dziekuje – Thank you both very much.

Richard P. Poremski
Vice President – PNA Council 21
Financial Secretary – Lodge 238
November 5, 2018