228th Polish Constitution Day
Celebrated In Washington –
Centennial of Poland-U.S. Relations Observed
WASHINGTON, D.C. – At least 900 guests and dignitaries flooded the spacious residence of Ambassador Piotr Wilczek here on May 7, 2019 to co-celebrate Polish Constitution Day and the Centennial of Poland-U.S. Diplomatic Relations. The well-accommodated celebrants included the Washington diplomatic corps with its attendant military attaches, members of Congress and the U.S. Government, U.S. Armed Forces officers, notable persons, the Washington establishment per se, and notwithstanding, many leaders and members of Polonia. Tomasz Szatkowski – Deputy Minister and Undersecretary of State at Poland’s Ministry of Defense was introduced and recognized by Ambassador Wilczek.
PHOTO: 100 Years of Diplomatic Relations. The 2019 celebration of Poland’s Constitution Day coincided with the Centennial of Poland-U.S. Diplomatic Relations. Pictured is guest speaker U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and also the Subcommittee on European and Regional Security Cooperation. His speech emphasized the strength of the Poland-U.S. friendship and stated that “Poland has played a pivotal role in opening up freedom for the rest of Eastern Europe and will play a role in opening up freedom for other people around the world.”
Ambassador Wilczek remarked that “After Poland regained its independence in 1918 after 128 years of political non-existence, the United States was the first major power to recognize Polish statehood in January 1919. In this way, a century of close cooperation and friendship officially began, continuing the proud tradition going back to figures such as Kosciuszko and Pulaski.” To highlight the diplomatic centennial, there was the presentation of varied degrees of The Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland to 11 Americans who contributed to the development of Poland – U.S. bilateral relations.
“May 2019 marks another important milestone – 228 years since the adoption of the Polish Third of May Constitution,” said Ambassador Wilczek. “This groundbreaking document, the first of its kind on the European continent, was adopted on May 3, 1791. It shares the principals of modern governance and the philosophy of liberty, democracy and tolerance with its American counterpart; these values permeate the pages of both documents and have been guideposts for our nations ever since.”
As the evening progressed, entertainment was provided by the Kuba Cichocki Trio, which played jazz renditions of classic Polish songs. Guests were also treated to groaning boards of various Polish dishes and desserts expertly prepared by the embassy’s kitchen. Baltimore’s Ojczyzna Polish Dancers, attired in their authentic and colorful folk costumes, delighted many guests by posing for memorable photographs with them.
The significant dual celebrations concluded on a very high note for both Poland and the United States – two countries with their intertwined history, friendship and culture that began during the American Revolutionary War … and still strongly continuing to this day.
Richard P. Poremski
Polish American Journal
Washington, DC Bureau
May 13, 2019