• May 3, 2013
  • 129

222nd anniversary of the signing of the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791

Fot. Marian Paluszkiewicz

On Friday, May 3, 2013, the 222nd anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of May 3, 1791, was celebrated in Vilnius. The main ceremony took place at the Rasos Cemetery, at the tombstone of Jozef Piłsudski’s mother (translator’s note: Piłsudski’s heart is enshrined in the tomb the famous inscription says: “A mother and the heart of her son”).

A lot of guests from Poland and the diplomatic post of the Republic of Poland in Vilnius, the leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, and Waldemar Tomaszewski MEP came to participate in the ceremony. Colour guards of various organisations, institutions, schools, and their managerial staff gathered at the cemetery. A great number of Lithuanian citizens also came to jointly celebrate the day of the signing of the Constitution of May 3. The guests put flowers and laid wreaths at the famous tomb. Scouts and war veterans stood on honour guard.

Priest Mirosław Grabowski celebrated a High Mass on the cemetery. Janusz Skolimowski, the ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Vilnius, thanked everyone for the eight-year-long, fruitful cooperation because he would soon leave the diplomatic post in Vilnius. He delivered an occasional speech:

“This is a special day. The Day of the Constitution of May 3 is a special holiday. This is a holiday of thought. On this day we neither celebrate a military victory nor commemorate the fatalities. We celebrate the victory of a modern political thought.

The head of the embassy of the Republic of Poland in Vilnius said that the Day of the Constitution of May 3 had been celebrated together with Lithuanians for several years. On the initiative of the conservative Emanuelis Zingeris and by virtue of the resolution passed by the Seimas, this day was introduced in 2007 as a national holiday of Lithuania.

On the occasion of the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of May 3 high delegations from Lithuania with vice president of the Seimas, Gedimas Kirkilas, at its head, were present at the celebrations in Warsaw.

On the Day of the Constitution of May 3 a great number of guests from Poland came to the Rasos Cemetery to celebrate the anniversary.

“I cannot imagine that I could be somewhere else than at the Rasos Cemetery on May 3. This is a holiday of all Poles and it calls for a patriotic attitude. I think that the hearts of all Poles should be here, at the heart of Jozef Pilsudski, who is the symbol of freedom, independence, and patriotic value,” said Barbara Bojaryn from the Polish city of Białystok.

Barbara Bojaryn came to Vilnius together with her family because her children had not seen the city yet. It is important for her to make her children learn about their history, roots, and tradition. That is why the Bojaryn family was present at the Rasos Cemetery yesterday.

A lot of Poles from the Vilnius Region also came to take part in the ceremony.

“Everyone knows that the Constitution of May 3, 1791, was the first one in Europe and the second one in the world. Celebrating the 222nd anniversary of passing it expresses our need to cultivate glorious events from the history of our nation. I think that the Constitution of May 3 is very important in the life of every Polish man and woman, regardless of where they happen to live. It was after all an important step to a modern state,” said Danuta Krupowicz from Vilnius. 

Source: http://kurierwilenski.lt/2013/05/03/222-rocznica-uchwalenia-konstytucji-3-maja/

Tłumaczenie by Elwira Łykus w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Elwira Łykus within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu. 

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