Poland today is best off in history, president says on Independence Day

The president said that all Poles have responsibilities towards Poland, "from the left to the right." Leszek Szymański/PAP

Historians say that today's Poland is the most independent, wealthiest and safest Poland since the 17th century, President Andrzej Duda said in his speech at Piłsudskiego Square in Warsaw on Monday, as the country marked its Independence Day.

The main ceremonies are taking place in Warsaw's central square that bears the name of Marshal Józef Piłsudski, the mastermind of Poland's 1918-regained independence. The ceremonies started with the singing of the national anthem. It was sung simultaneously in several hundred locations throughout Poland and abroad.

Addressing the gathering, President Duda said that current and future generations should learn a lesson from the fact that Poland develops fastest and is strongest when its citizens realise they have to run Polish matters together.

The president said that all Poles have responsibilities towards Poland, "from the left to the right."

Earlier on Monday, President Duda laid flowers at monuments of the six Fathers of Polish Independence and attended, together with his wife, a mass for the homeland, celebrated at the Temple of Divine Providence in Warsaw. He also awarded the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest distinction, to Professor Andrzej Nowak, a historian, and Professor Grażyna Świątecka, a cardiologist, and presented state distinctions to other merited Poles.

Later in the day, the president will attend a concert, part of the Independence Festival, to be held from 2:00 p.m.

In the evening, the president will visit the residents of Rypin, in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie province, where concerts and festivities on the occasion of Independence Day will be held throughout the day.

Poland regained independence on November 11, 1918, after 123 years of partitions.