As every year in early August, the month in which we remember the historical battle ‘Miracle on the Vistula’, in American Czestochowa we celebrated Festival of Polish Soldiers during which we honor all veterans associated with the Polish Army who live in the US.
To the spiritual capital of Polonia came various delegations of veterans and veterans associations, especially veterans who belong to SWAP – Polish Army Veterans Association in the US. Among the distinguished guests present at the ceremony we would like to name a few of them: Anna Maria Anders, State Secretary, Plenipotentiary for International Dialogue in the rank of Secretary of State and also the daughter of General Władysław Anders; Piotr Wilczek, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Washington, DC; gen. Brig. pil. Cezary Wisniewski, Defense Attaché of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland; Maciej Golubiewski, Consul of Poland in New York; Wincent Knapczyk, Chief Commander-SWAP; Helena Knapczyk, Primates President of the auxiliary group of women to SWAP; Antoni Chróścielewski, commander of the 2nd District SWAP, and numerous delegations: Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union, the Polish Scouting Association.
The celebration started at the military section of the American Czestochowa cemetery, which due to numerous veterans resting in that section is also called ‘Polish Arlington’. Veterans laid a wreath at the ‘Hussar” monument, then Father dr Andrzej Ostaszewski, SWAP’s chief chaplain, led the prayer in intention of all who are buried at this military cemetery.
Then, the Soldier’s Day ceremony was continued in front of the church, at the figure of Our Lady of the Assumption, Hetman of the Polish Army. After placing memorial wreaths, a solemn military parade of Polish veterans took place.
The Mass the intention of all veterans, both living and those who have already gone to the Lord, was the most important part of these celebrations. The Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. dr. Andrzej Ostaszewski, and concelebrated by the Pauline Fathers – Fr. Mikołaj Socha, Provincial of the Pauline Order in the US and Fr. Krzysztof. Drybka, Prior of the American Czestochowa, who welcomed all gathered in the Church, the spiritual capital of the Polish community. The mass was enriched by the Angelus choir from Brooklyn led by Izabela Grajner-Partyka.
After the Mass, a gala celebration in honor of all the soldiers gathered in American Czestochowa took place.
Fr. Tymoteusz Tarnacki, Pauline Father