Washington, D.C. At the landmark 1870s Renwick Gallery - Smithsonian American Art Museum, just across from the White House, here on April 27, 2010, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland hosted its celebration of the profound and emancipating Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791.
Jerzy Buzek is Guest of Honor. The President of the European Parliament - Jerzy Buzek - is pictured above delivering pertinent remarks to the numerous guests of the Polish Embassy at the Renwick Gallery on the occasion of the 219th Anniversary of Poland's historic May 3rd Constitution
Ambassador Robert Kupiecki and Brigadier General Leszek Soczewica, accompanied by their wives (above picture), graciously received and greeted the guests at the top of the Renwick's imposing grand staircase. The guests then entered the cavernous and awesome Grand Salon with all its' walls completely covered with scores of paintings of all sizes that are densely hung from waist level to the very top of its 40 foot high ceiling.
The few hundred invitees were a well rounded cross section of the U.S. Congress, Department of State, government agencies, the White House, Pentagon, NATO, foreign embassies, international institutions and the extensive Polonia. Aleksander Kwasniewski, a former president of Poland, also attended.
After the singing of the Polish and American national anthems by Josef Surowiec, Ambassador Kupiecki spoke first about the pall cast upon the day's celebration by the recent tragic airplane crash near Katyn Forest / Smolensk, Russia, and paused to remember Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the other 95 honored and notable victims. He also spoke in glowing terms about the historic significance and revolutionary political ramifications of the May 3rd Constitution that forever changed the face of Poland and Europe.
Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament (also a founder of Solidarity and a former prime minister of Poland) was the guest of honor. He too reflected upon the catastrophic April 10, 2010 airplane crash, and on the greatness of the seminal Polish Constitution. Buzek commended America for its freedoms-fight and support of democracy around the world, and mentioned the vital assistance of Polish patriots Pulaski and Kosciuszko in the American Revolutionary War. He also emphasized that the central purpose of his visit here was to build a much closer partnership between the European Parliament and U.S. Congress over a range of paramount issues.
President Buzek, a suave and dynamic speaker, snuck in a bit of dry humor when he said that "generally speaking, things are going well inside of the European Parliament - except for the big problem recently caused by a small island member... Iceland ... the volcano"! which effectively cracked everyone up in chuckling agreement.
"This is the first time in my life that I've celebrated our Polish Constitution Day outside of Poland," Bzek intoned wistfully - but he couldn't have picked a better alternative place to share it with others than here among his diplomatic countrymen, Polonia and a grand host of admirers.
Polish American Journal Washington, DC Bureau May 4, 2010
I recommend POLISH HISTORY IN BOOKS