- November 9, 2012
Polish distinctions for Poles of the Vilnius Region
On Sunday 11th of November is the 94th anniversary of regaining independence of Poland, which is also celebrated in Vilnius.
The main celebrations of the National Independence Day took place on Sunday 11th of November at the Rasos Cemetary at 12. The representatives of the Polish consular-diplomatic post in Vilnius along with delegations of Polish social organizations placed wreaths at the Mausoleum of the Mother and the Son’s Heart.
On Thursday, at the Polish embassy in the Pac family Palace in Vilnius, there was a ceremony to award state decorations proposed by the president of Poland – Bronisław Komorowski. The decorated were the Poles of the Vilnius Region for their extraordinary services in developing Polish education in Lithuania as well as conducting care activities over Polish places of national remembrance.
– Let those high distinctions from the president Bronisław Komorowski be an encouragement to all of you to continue your cooperation for the common good that is strengthening Polish identity in education and culture. The Polish identity is our presence here, in the independent Lithuania, the independent Republic of Lithuania, together with our beloved and independent Republic of Poland – said Janusz Skolimowski, the ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Vilnius.
The Gold Cross of Merit was awarded to Alicja Klimaszewska, one of the co-founders and the president of Społeczny Komitet Opieki nad Starą Rossą (lit. the Public Maintenance Committee for the Rasos Cemetery). Alicja also received a special letter of thanks and greetings from the chairman of Komitet Opieki nad Starymi Powązkami (lit. the Maintenance Committee for the Powązki Cemetery), Marcin Święcicki. The letter was read out loud by the ambassador during the ceremony.
After the distribution of the merit awards the celebration of the Independence Day began. A part of the celebration was a concert of one of the most famous and liked ensembles in the Vilnius Region – the folk ensemble “Wilia”.
– I would like to welcome you at a celebration, the date of which is important for Poland as well as for all of the countries of Europe. The 11th of November 1918 commemorates the end of the World War I, as a result of which Poland, as well as Lithuania, regained their independence; Latvia and Estonia were also created. That is why we have a shared celebration of this sublime event – said the ambassador. He also congratulated every present Member of the Parliament on their recent electoral success.
Between the 10th and the 11th of November 2012 there was the 18th Independence Relay “Szlakiem Cmentarzy Legionistów 1919-1920” (lit. Following the Track of the Legionnaire Cemeteries 1919-1920), on the route Dūkštas-Zalavas-Rasų. The contestants had to cover 155km distance. The Independence Relay is organized annually by the scouts of the Vilnius Mary Troop under Lady of the Gate of Dawn, of which Rev. Dariusz Stańczyk is the Scoutmaster.
This year the Independence Relay began with a Holy Mass at the 1920 legionnaire graves in Dūkštas.
The distinctions were received by:
Błaszkiewicz Adam, the chairman of ZHPnL; the principal of the John Paul II Secondary School; an activist of the Public Maintenance Committee for the Rasos Cemetery — Krzyż Oficerski Orderu Zasługi RP (lit. Officer’s Cross of Merit)
Brasel Renata, the director of the folk ensemble “Wilia and “Solczanie” —
Krzyż Kawalerski Orderu Zasługi RP (lit. Cavalry Cross of Merit)
Gieczewska Janina, the president of Polish section of Wileńska Wspólnota Więźniów Politycznych i Zesłańców (lit. the Political Prisoners and Exiles Community of Vilnius) — Krzyż Kawalerski Orderu Zasługi RP (lit. Cavalry Cross of Merit)
Andruszkiewicz Andrzej, the deputy mayor of the Šalčininkai district municipality government — Gold Cross of Merit
Bejnar Irena, the president of the Association of Poles in Lithuania in Švenčionys; a roker of Secondary School in Pabradė — Gold Cross of Merit
Kasperowicz Henryk, the manager of the team “Zgoda” — Gold Cross of Merit
Klimaszewska Alicja, one of the co-founders and the president of the Public Maintenance Committee for the Rasos Cemetery — Gold Cross of Merit
Kotłowska Lucyna, the director if administration of the Vilnius municipality goverment — Gold Cross of Merit
Stankiewicz Stefania, the manager of the social care department of the Vilnius municipality government — Gold Cross of Merit
Kołoszewska Zyta, an activist of the Public Maintenance Committee for the Rasos Cemetery — Silver Cross of Merit
Tamašunienė Rita, a Member of the Parliament — Silver Cross of Merit
Wilkojć Wacław — the president of the Association of Poles in Lithuania in Švenčionėliai; the director of the company “Ferumas”; the caretaker of necropolis — Silver Cross of Merit
Tłumaczenie Katarzyna Rakalska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Katarzyna Rakalska the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.