On November 11 at noon the delegation of Polish embassy led by Janusz Skolimowski, an ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Lithuania, as well as representatives of Polish social organizations and guests from Poland laid a wreath at the Mother and the Son’s Heart mausoleum at Rasos Cemetery.
In order to express their unity with their compatriots in the motherland and the Polish Diaspora, for years Poles from Lithuania have participated in the ceremony in celebration of Polish Independence Day organized by Polish embassy. The guard of honour was performed by veterans and scouts. The standard-bearers of Polish educational institutions form Vilnius Region were present at the ceremony as well.
Representatives of organizations gathering Poles from Lithuania led by the delegations of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania [Polish: AWPL, Akcja Wyborcza Polaków na Litwie] and the Association of Poles in Lithuania [Polish: ZPL, Związek Polaków na Litwie] laid flowers at the memorial. Among the people who laid their wreaths at the memorial there were representatives of the local authorities form Vilnius and Šalčininkai district municipalities, the Association of Polish teachers in Lithuania “Macierz Szkolna”, the faculty of Polish philology at the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, the House of Polish Culture, scouts, students, teachers…
In his speech the ambassador referred to the 94th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Before the ceremony he and the Apostolic Nuncio had participated in an ecumenical Mass in commemoration of all victims of the war.
“Poles as well as Lithuanian citizens served in three imperial armies and died in this horrible war. Today is the day of tragic memory for many nations but for us – Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian people – it is a wonderful day. We regained our independence. It is extremely important that today in Vilnius we and member of other nations can celebrate the day when Poland returned on the map of Europe after 123 years of partition. Poland has become an independent creation, a sovereign state that is playing a significant role in Europe and the world. During the first 20 years of the independent Poland the country and its political system managed to become the international fact. Because of that we should be grateful, among other people, to the one whose heart is buried here.” said the ambassador.
In the afternoon the 18th Relay of Independence reached Rasos Cemetery. The competition is organized each year by Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn [Polish: Matka Boska Ostrobramska] Vilnius Mary’s Scouts Group led by a scoutmaster, the Reverend Dariusz Stańczyk. Teenagers form Lithuania and Poland as well as participants of Katyn Rally participated in this year’s two days long track titled “Dukszty Ignalińskie – Zułów – Wilno”.
Tłumaczenie Karolina Rolka w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Karolina Rolka the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.