Katowice hosts Armed Forces Day celebrations

Ceremony at the Silesian Uprisings Memorial in Katowice. Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

President Andrzej Duda laid a wreath on Thursday at the Silesian Uprisings Memorial in Katowice, southern Poland, as part of ceremonies marking Polish Armed Forces Day in the city.

This year, Polish Armed Forces Day events are being held in Katowice to commemorate the centenary of the 1st Silesian Uprising.

In the years 1919-1921, Upper Silesia, which belonged to Germany before World War I, was contested by Germany and Poland. Polish national moods in the region mounted considerably after Poland re-won its independence in 1918, and were strongly fought down by its German administration and army. The conflict led to three Silesian Uprisings between 1919 and 1921. After the Third Silesian Uprising, 29 percent of land and 46 percent of the population of the area was returned to Poland.

Earlier in the day, the president attended a Mass for the homeland.

Later, President Duda will present state distinctions and promote officers to the ranks of general and admiral. Together with other state and government officials, he will attend a military parade.

Over 2,600 soldiers, over 180 vehicles and 60 aircraft will take part in the 'Faithful to Poland' parade.