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Ambassador Condemns Terrorist Attacks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The mood was already uncharacteristically reserved here at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland on Friday, November 13, 2015 at 7:30 P.M. The jovial guests had assembled to celebrate Poland’s 97th Independence Day of November 11, 1918. But the horrific news flashes emanating from a Paris besieged by murderous terrorists were already becoming an unthinkable fact of life and the topic of very sad conversation at the embassy.

At 8 P.M., as the tightly packed crowd parted to make a pathway, an obviously somber Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf approached the podium and addressed the guests thusly: “Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends, Good Evening … But it is not a good evening because there is very, very, sad news. This was supposed to be another joyful occasion to celebrate the rebirth of the Republic of Poland after World War I. But the news coming from France is terrifying. France is under terrorist attack at multiple locations in Paris, and over 100 persons have been killed. The operations of the security forces are still being completed.”

DSC04193forweb“We share the pain with all the French people and we profoundly condemn the attacks. This is not only an attack on France, it is an attack on everyone who believes in the principles of democracy, freedom and peace. We are in solidarity with the French nation. We must promise to stay united and together and fight terrorists wherever they are. They are threats to all of us regardless if you live in Paris, Rome or New York.”

“Let’s have all people of good will stand together, and remain convinced that democracy must win during this struggle. I ask you to join me in a Moment of Silence to honor all of the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris.” The respectful moment was concluded dramatically when a soloist and pianist immediately performed the intensely patriotic French National Anthem – La Marseillaise. For the rest of the evening everyone present was assuredly carrying fraternal thoughts of Vive la France! in their minds and hearts.

Richard P. Poremski
DSC04156forwebPolish American Journal
Washington, DC Bureau

November 14, 2015

Text & Photo: Richard Poremski

In photo on left: Amb. Schnepf and his wife Dorota