WASHINGTON, D.C. - Joint Celebration At Polish Embassy. The 216th Anniversary of the Adoption of The Third of May Constitution was observed here at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland on April 30, 2007. The Republic of Lithuania, which shares the pride of The Third of May Constitution, was represented by its ambassador, H.E. Audrius Bruzga. The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania created The Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania by the Lublin Union of 1569. The Commonwealth was to last for 226 years until 1795 with the Third Partition of Poland.
Ambassador Janus Reiter and Military Attache Brigadier General Kazimierz Sikorski personally greeted the arriving guests at the early afternoon function. The large, varied group of attendees consisted of diplomatic and military personnel from the international community, as well as many persons from the grass-roots of Polonia. Ex-president of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski and his wife Jolanta were also the visitors at the ceremony (right photo).
The Constitution of May 3, 1791 is considered one of the first modern constitutions in Europe and the world. It was a bloodless and valiant attempt to unite the people of Poland against its enemies in the surrounding aggressor states. A democratic form of government was created by the Sejm (Parliament) which established freedom, civil rights and tolerance for all the people of Poland - an extremely unique and earth-shaking equalitarian concept at the time of absolute rule by the European monarchies, who felt their thrones threatened by it.
Ambassadors Reiter and Bruzga addressed the gathering with interlocking themes concerning the history and importance of the May 3rd Constitution to Poland, Europe and the world. The Constitution was a visionary and righteous ideal created to counter an oppressive world of so little freedom and non-existent rights for the masses.
The final speaker (pictured to the left) was esteemed guest, and good friend of Poland, U.S. Congressman Robert Wexler (D-Florida), Chairman of the European Subcommittee and a Senior Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He praised the revolutionary and peaceful May 3rd Constitution, and observed that it ranks second only to the American Constitution of 1787.
Rep. Wexler spoke strongly, and with much conviction, about the numerous sacrifices and contributions made by Poland and Polonia over the course of time. He stated that Poland is one of America's most stalwart and participating military allies, being very active abroad in the Middle East and in NATO. The bonds of friendship and solidarity between the U.S. and Poland are among the strongest in existence today. As such, Poland deserves no less than the utmost of consideration in return. In closing, and to thunderous applause, Wexler called for the immediate inclusion of Poland in the U.S. Visa Waver Program to farther strengthen and balance the relationship between the two countries.