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Polish Anniversaries

Apr 6, 2011
Floor Statement

Madam Speaker,

Today I rise to stand with the Polish people as they commemorate two horrific events on this Saturday, April 10th. 

First, the seventy first anniversary of the Katyn Forest Massacre, and second- the first anniversary of the tragic airplane crash that killed 96 people, including the Polish President and other top Polish officials. The Katyn Forest Massacre occurred during World War II in April and May of 1940 while Poland was fighting a war on two fronts.  The Soviet secret police brutally killed over 20,000 Poles whose bodies were later recovered in a mass grave at Katyn.

Tragically, last year as a delegation of Polish officials were en route to Katyn to commemorate the massacre, their plane unexpectedly crashed in western Russia killing all aboard.  It was with great sadness that I heard the news having had the great honor of meeting President Kaczynski in the past.  His devotion to the Polish nation and people was immeasurable.

Madam Speaker, the Polish people over the past year and through the course of history have been unwavering in their resilience and patriotism in the face of adversity.  Their courage is admirable and inspiring, and on this day we stand in solidarity as they commemorate two occasions of great loss .