- May 6, 2013
Vilnius, March of the red and white
On the occasion of the day of the Polish community and poles abroad on Saturday, may 4, the main procession through the streets of Vilnius.
Attended by more than 10,000 Poles from Lithuania. The participants of the procession went from the Parliament in Polish folk costumes, with the Polish song on their lips, with white and red flags and flags of Lithuanian and European Union. The participants of the procession all the way accompanied by dancers and the National Brass “Trimitas”.
In the first rows in the Polish leaders, members of social organizations marched electoral action of Poles in Lithuania (AWPL), representatives of the Polish diplomatic mission in Lithuania.
— This is a huge feast for Polonia and poles. We, Poles in Lithuania, we are a compact part of the Polish community. During the procession, it is obvious that we are referred to the unity, solidarity and, of course, the strength with which to be reckoned. Our cases, we need to take into our own hands. Only United we can be jointly and severally liable to affect the solution to the problems of its own — said the “Courier” MP Waldemar Tomaszewski, President of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania.
Rita Tamašunienė, President of the faction in the Parliament AWPL indicated that this is a joyous event for all Poles living in Lithuania: “Parade, which took place on the streets of the historic Vilnius, for sure built them up. I believe that such parades are very much needed, since they join all fellow countrymen. “
The parade was attended by members of the 11 branches of ZPL secondary school students from all over the country, Polish, Polish artistic teams, Scouts, Poles from different regions of the country. The procession arrived from all corners of the Poles to Vilnius of Lithuania — among others. Bezdan, Kaunas, Święcian, and even with the Klaipeda.
-What is associated with Polishness, for me, is very close. Such parades are very much needed. In this way, you can show that there is a lot of us. In today’s parade, we see that we’re not thrown to the mercy of fate. The parade gives us a sense of the unity of compatriots in Lithuania, the feeling that we are the arm strength. Together we can make a lot of work! — She said “Courier” Anna Drozd from Klaipeda.
Participants in the procession said that those crowds that arrived are proof of the community of Poles in Lithuania. People are very friendly to each other and feel the festive atmosphere.
Participants of the march met with sympathy by the inhabitants of the capital. People waved, applauded, smiled when marching, and Polish tourists, who visited numerous exceptionally Vilnius this weekend in May was cheers “Viva Poles!”.
— I was pleasantly surprised, I attended in the other, but such unity-tape parades I see here, I assure you I have not seen in any Member State. Here, you can feel this unity — a brotherhood! The participants look like one huge family. Present here the Poles behave as if they knew each other for years, and yet these are strangers — Catherine told us of Lublin.
Polonia day celebration in Vilnius, and Poles in Lithuania was crested by a holy mass in the open window in the chapel of the gate of dawn. The Holy Mass was concelebrated by Fr. Monsignor John Kasiukiewicz, Rector of the chapel of the gate of dawn, the pastor of the parish in Szumsku. John Grabowski, the pastor in the Maišiagala Castle Hill. Dean Joseph Aszkiełowicz and pastor in Jewish history. Tadeusz Matulaniec.
Po Mszy św. Michał Mackiewicz, organizator marszu, prezes ZPL oraz poseł na Sejm podziękował wszystkim uczestnikom za tak liczne przybycie na polskie święto na Litwie.
— Jesteśmy narodem dobrze zorganizowanym, solidarnym. Mamy poczucie patriotyzmu. Mam nadzieję, że ta nasza solidarność będzie rosła w siłę, że polskość na zawsze pozostanie w tym kraju — powiedział Michał Mackiewicz.
Przemarsz ulicami Wilna przeszedł spokojnie, bez żadnych incydentów.
After the mass Holy Michał Mackiewicz, organizer of the March, President of ZPL and member of Parliament thanked all participants for the many coming to Polish Festival in Lithuania. -We are a nation well structured, mutually supportive. We have a sense of patriotism. I hope that our solidarity will grow in strength, that will remain forever in this country, “said Michal Mackiewicz. A procession through the streets of Vilnius passed peacefully without any incidents.
Tłumaczenie by Katarzyna Dąbrowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Katarzyna Dąbrowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.