President confers Order of the White Eagle upon three Poles

The Order of the White Eagle, established in 1705, is given for outstanding civilian and military service to the country. Rafał Guz/PAP

On Poland's Constitution Day on Friday, President Andrzej Duda conferred the Order of the White Eagle, the highest Polish distinction, upon three Poles for their outstanding service to the country.

The ceremony, held at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, was attended by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the speakers of the Lower and upper house, Marek Kuchciński and Stanisław Karczewski.

The oldest, over 300-year-old Polish orders, traditionally presented on the anniversary of the Constitution of May 3rd, 1791, adopted by the then Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, "are awarded to the most eminent people, whose deeds for Poland, for the nation, sometimes for humanity, so something great, will live on," Andrzej Duda said th the ceremony.

Czesław Bielecki, an architect, journalist and politician, opposition activist in the PRL (Poland under communist control), founder and head of the CDN Publishing House, a Sejm (lower house) MP (1997-2001), was awarded for his merits in promoting the ideals of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights in the PRL, for public and state activities.

Wincenty Kućma, a sculptor, medal maker, illustrator and creator of the Warsaw Uprising Monument and Monument to the Defenders of the Polish Post Office in Gdańsk, was honoured in recognition of his outstanding achievements in Polish culture, achievements in artistic and creative work, and popularising the history of Polish independence.

Władysław Siemaszko, a Soldier of the wartime Home Army (AK) underground resistance movement, aka Wir, lawyer, Eastern Borderlands activist and one of the most recognised researchers and documentalists of the tragedy of the Polish population in Volhynia during World War II, was distinguished for his contribution in documenting and disseminating historical truth and for his activities for the benefit of war veterans.

The Order of the White Eagle, established in 1705, is given for outstanding civilian and military service to the country. It has been bestowed on the most outstanding Polish people and foreigners.