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Polish American Congress
Awards The NKMF

BETHESDA, Md. We’ve all heard quite a lot during the recent presidential election about the possibility of breaking a certain “glass ceiling” – which did not occur since the first female candidate was not elected to the White House. But at the Polish American Congress – Washington Metropolitan Area Division (PAC-WMAD) Annual Thanksgiving Dinner here on November 13, 2016 two smaller glass ceilings were actually broken. For the first time since its founding in 1974 the PAC-WMAD did not bestow its annual award on a person, but on an organization:  The Nation Katyn Memorial Foundation (NKMF) in Baltimore, Maryland – home of the majestic National Katyn Memorial. It was also the first time that the NKMF itself was so recognized with such a distinct honor. (Photo:  Susanne Lotarski and Richard Poremski)

The striking walnut plaque with its blue and gold metal facing stipulates the raison d’etre of the NKMF award as follows: “For promoting and preserving the memory of the 1940 Katyn Massacre for the education of future generations. Never Again! You are a credit to all Polonia and the fundamental values that we hold dear. STO LAT!”

Thaddeus Mirecki prefaced the award’s ceremony with a detailed history of the NKMF, and its predecessor organization – the NKM Committee. The many trials and tribulations encountered over the years that eventually resulted in the amazing raising of the National Katyn Memorial were all recounted and remembered; and also the fact of the Memorial’s esteemed importance and its recognized prominence set on the Polish-American landscape.

dscn0568    Speaking at the dinner was the Honorable Damon Wilson – Executive V.P. of the Atlantic Council. MC Susanne Lotarski noted that: Our Keynote Speaker, Mr. Damon Wilson, draws our attention to the key security issues currently facing NATO, Poland, the United States and its new President, indeed all of us. These are existential issues which the Polish American Congress was founded to address, has continued to address over the last 72 years, posed to this year’s major party presidential candidates, and which will focus our efforts in the coming years. Please actively join us. It is in our hands to advance liberty and democracy for ourselves and future generations.

There was much to be thankful for … and much to ponder … on this Thanksgiving themed Sunday afternoon.

Richard Poremski
Polish American Journal
Washington, D.C. Bureau
December 6, 2016