President appeals to Polish diaspora in USA to support Poland
President Andrzej Duda appealed on Saturday at a meeting with representatives of the Polish diaspora in the US to "be together and support Poland," to make Americans feel that the Polish community "has great political power."
Saturday was the fourth day of a five-day visit to the US by President Duda.
At a meeting held in Millennium Park in Chicago, Duda thanked the Polish diaspora for their "proud attitude."
"I would like to ask you to always be with us, support the homeland of your grandparents, your parents, be with Poland," the Polish president said.
He also expressed his gratitude to the Polish community in the US for "keeping Poland in their hearts, despite being far from its borders," and for the way they represent Poland and the Polish spirit in the US.
The Polish president extended his appreciation for Polish priests and nuns for guarding the Polish faith and tradition, "being spiritual support, strengthening spirits, helping to live through hard times".
Efforts by Polish teachers in the US were also recognised by President Duda, who stressed how difficult it would be to preserve the Polish spirit if not for teaching Polish language and history and building patriotic attitudes.
The president stressed that Poland could count on many generations of Polish diaspora in the US." "Not only did you help your families and compatriots financially, but also when you had to fight for your homeland," he added, explaining that he meant the Polish-American soldiers who joined General Jozef Haller's Blue Army formed in France during World War I as well as soldiers who during the Second World War joined the US army to fight for a free Poland.
Duda also pointed to all those who supported the Polish opposition during the times of communist oppression as well as those who supported the Polish aspirations to join NATO.
"It is also thanks to you that Poland is independent, free, sovereign, growing in strength, belongs to the North Atlantic Treaty, is safer and stronger," Duda emphasised.
The president spoke about the history of Polish-American friendship, indicating that it has long traditions. "Starting from Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Kazimierz Pułaski who fought for the independence of the United States and are remembered by the Americans," he pointed out.
Duda also noted that Americans also fought for the freedom of Poland, pointing to American airmen fighting in 1920 in the so-called Squadron of Kościuszko.