Lech Walesa Award Ceremony in Gdansk
Gdansk is a beautiful place.Being there in person is necessary to truly appreciate the historical significance of what happened there only a short time ago in modern history.That city witnessed the very first crumbling of an oppressive empire known hurtfully well by Poles.I was personally invited to attend the exclusive Lech Wałęsa Award Ceremony alongside a most prestigious lineup of of Polish State officials that included Prime Minister Donald Tusk, past Prime Minister Krzysztof Bielecki, Presidential Chief of Staff Jacek Michalowski, and Undersecretary of State Beata Stelmach. The event also was attended by Poland’s most prominent philanthropists, like Jan Kulczyk and Roman Rewald. President Wałęsaestablished the award only four years ago, with the purpose of verifying the world’s commitment to building joint cooperation between nations dedicated to peace and freedom.This year’s award was given to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil for his continued efforts at local and international reform and advancement. I am overjoyed to report that The Polish Mission was represented at the ceremony!Along with Mike Smith of Wayne State University, we were formal guests of not only the award ceremony, but the President’s gala birthday party as well.To represent American Polonia in such a way is an honor and a privilege that I am enormously thankful to have.President Walesa is keenly interested in the role that Polish-Americans have in shaping the future, especially after having visited our campus in Orchard Lake just last year. I was proud to report to him that our community is vibrant, dedicated and strong, and he was grateful for knowing that the principles he and his foundation stand for, are still part of the fabric of Polish-American culture.
This event marks a special highlight not only for the Polish Mission, but for Polish-Americans on the whole, as we welcome a bright future of excellence.I will continue to provide immediate reports of our cooperation with the Lech Walesa Institute.Please check out my photos, and I ask that all join me in wishing President Wałęsa a very happy Birthday, and many more years of service to building a peaceful world. For more information on the Lech Walesa Institute, please visit www.walesa.org