103rd Anniversary of Polish Armed Forces Day

October 18, 2023

Written by:
Richard P. Poremski
Polish American Journal
Washington, D.C. Bureau
September 8, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the occasion of the Polish Armed Forces Day, Master of Ceremonies Counselor Katarzyna Rybka-lwanska, Head of Public and Cultural Diplomacy, welcomed 200 guests here on September 5, 2023 at the Polish Ambassador’s residence. They included: U.S. Undersecretaries of Defense and the Army, four U.S. generals, the Washington diplomatic corps, foreign military attaches, many U.S. and NATO military officers, distinguished guests, and Polish Army veterans. Counselor Rybka-lwanska commented that Polish Armed Forces Day (August 15th) is celebrated annually to commemorate the miraculous Polish victory over the invading Bolshevik Red Army during the Polish/Soviet War. “This 1920 Battle of Warsaw is one of the most important victories in the history of global warfare.”

Ambassador Marek Magierowski, Embassy of the Republic of Poland, charmed the audience with some witty and insightful comments about certain unique Polish characteristics and how they defined the will of the Poles to defend, and fight, for freedom. Included his remarks, the Ambassador also mentioned that Poland is a steadfast ally of the U.S., now with 10,000 American troops on Polish soil. In conclusion, Magierowski emphatically stated that “Rest assured when push comes to shove the Poles will fight against any aggression as in the past.”

Brigadier General Krzysztof Nolbert, the commandant Defense Attache at the Embassy of Poland, also referenced the 1920 ” Miracle on the Vistula” victory over the Bolsheviks at the very gates of Warsaw. “It was a major turning point in the Polish-Soviet War.” He continued: “For the first time in history the Polish people saw that no Soviet-era military equipment was present in the recent August 15th vast military parade in Warsaw. The final vestiges of the Warsaw Pact are dead. Now all our military equipment is first class, of modern design and manufacture.”

Brigadier General Krzysztof Nolbert, Poland’s Defense Attache, is depicted speaking at the Polish Ambassador’s residence on Polish Armed Forces Day. At left is Ambassador Marek Magierowski intently listening to the general’s remarks.

Regarding Ukraine: General Neibert stated that “In the context of the Polish victory at the Battle of Warsaw, it is now equally vital in the same way to Ukraine in the face of unprovoked Russian aggression. A free and sovereign Ukraine is vital for peace and security in entire Europe. NATO support is vital and continuing in support of a free and prosperous Ukraine. I ask for a moment of silence for all the Ukrainian fallen.”

In conclusion, General Neibert said: “The motto of the Polish military is very appropriate at this moment in support of Ukraine in their fight against Russian aggression – “For Your Freedom and Ours.” “Slava Ukraini” ! !

Secretary William A. LaPlante – U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, was the guest speaker. He thanked Poland for its military partnership and sustainment, dating back to the U.S. Revolutionary War times.

Highlighted were the 24,000 Polish-American “Blue Army” volunteers, and U.S. financial assistance, that played crucial parts in defeating the Red Army during the Polish-Bolshevik War (1919-1920). He stated that “The partnership between NATO allies is a win for global security, with Poland being one of the strongest ones.”

Referencing the 1920 Battle of Warsaw, he said that “Russian aggression today is all too similar to that in Poland 100 years ago.”

Secretary LaPlante concluded with “We will do all that is necessary, for as long as necessary, for Ukraine to prevail. On behalf of the Department of Defense, I join the Polish nation in honoring all who served, fought, and sacrificed to defend Poland. I thank you for your vital contributions defending Europe from aggression and invasion.”

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