The hundredth anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth became the occasion for unveiling the monument to a distinguished leader of the United States, and a friend of Poland, by former President Lech Wałęsa. The monument is located on Al. Ujazdowskie, opposite the U.S. embassy.
“When today we honour President Reagan with this gesture, I wonder whether today’s Poland, Europe and the world would have looked the same without him. As a participant in those events, I must say that it’s inconceivable,” said President Lech Wałęsa in his speech.
Minister Jacek Michalowski, Head of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, read a letter written by President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski. “I am glad that today our capital has enriched itself with a place that commemorates the person representing the American contribution to our Polish freedom - a contribution, which will never be forgotten. From now on the face of the American President will look at today’s Warsaw - friendly, open and modern, and most of all free. A Warsaw, a friend of the Poles, Ronald Reagan, had always striven for,” the President wrote in his letter.
A letter from the U.S. President, Barack Obama, was also read, in which he wrote “President Reagan had a special gift for inspiring hope in people facing difficult circumstances. He helped to restore a sense of optimism in America during a period of economic and global challenges, and did the same for the Polish people through his support for the Solidarity movement.”
Warsaw’s Mayor, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, said after the unveiling the monument “The monument to President Ronald Wilson Reagan unveiled today stands on the route of weekend walks of the residents of Warsaw. It will remind them of this great friend of the Poles, an eminent statesman, whose adamant attitude and consistent policy contributed to the regaining of freedom by Poland. I would like to thank Mr. President Lech Wałęsa, who supported the construction of this monument dedicated to the man to whom “Solidarity” owes so much. I would like to thank the sponsors, owing to whom we can unveil the monument to a great President on the centenary of his birth.
During the ceremony a film was also shown featuring the life of Ronald Reagan.
The distinguished participants in the ceremony, apart from former President Lech Wałęsa, Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz and U.S. Ambassador Lee A. Einstein, included Minister of the Economy Waldemar Pawlak, Władysław Bartoszewski, and Tadeusz Mazowiecki, as well as members of the Sejm and the delegation from the U.S. Congress.
The initiator of the creation of the monument was the Ronald Reagan Foundation, established in 2008, acting in cooperation with the Ronald Reagan Library and Foundation in Simi Valley, California.
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