We choose ‘remembrance and identity’

Krystyna Czuba

Homeland – when I am thinking of it – I meet John Paul II, Primate Stefan Wyszynski, Fr Jerzy Popieluszko. I meet the martyrs of the German and Soviet camps. Homeland – when I am thinking of it – I meet 96 Poles who lost their lives on the way to Katyn. I ask them: Why did they choose to go to Katyn? What do they want to teach us – thinking of our Homeland? What do they expect of us?

Homeland is her heroes

Homeland – when I am thinking of it – I can hear the voice of John Paul II: ‘This land is our mother. Poland is our special mother since she has suffered a lot!’
I can hear Primate Wyszynski, ‘I love my Homeland more than my own heart and all the things I do for the Church I do for her.’
I can hear the call of Fr Jerzy, ‘Restore independent Homeland to us, o Lord!’
I meet the President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczynski who left a great monument to Poland’s history – the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising, and numerous awarded heroes who struggled for Poland.
And I can hear President Ryszard Kaczorowski, who personified the majesty of the Second Polish Republic.
Homeland – when I am thinking of it – I can see Bishop Tadeusz Ploski, the Rector of the Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski University and Rev. Professor Ryszard Rumianek, seven Catholic priests, two Protestant pastors and one Orthodox priest who felt the need of love to go there.
Homeland – when I am thinking of it – I meet the President of the Institute of National Remembrance Janusz Kurtyka and the Vice-minister of Culture Tomasz Merta, whose lives were filled with their attempts to preserve the historic heritage of Poland.
Homeland – when I am thinking of it – I recollect Janusz Zakrzenski, the indefatigable and unforgotten actor who played the role of Pilsudski.
Homeland – when I am thinking of it – I recollect Andrzej Przewoznik, who built Polish cemeteries, Senator Stanislaw Zajac, Przemyslaw Gosiewski, Zbigniew Wassermann, Krzysztof Putra, Anna Walentynowicz, the Governor of the Central Bank Slawomir Skrzypek, the generals and officers of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, the wonderful pilots.
Homeland – when I am thinking of it – I recollect the People who were dedicated to the matters of Katyn: steadfast, indefatigable!
From the perspective of eternity they know more and better. They all speak to us today, ‘We have chosen remembrance and identity.’

Homeland is a testimony

To preserve remembrance and identity means to be faithful to the heritage that is Poland. This is a choice of the most important and most difficult values. We choose good or evil every day.
Elections soon! Very important elections! Nobody has the right to say, ‘I am busy in some other place’; ‘I do not know who to vote for and I am not going.’ The tasks concerning heritage are connected with the category of moral obligation. It is an obligation of conscience. A moral imperative of patriotism. ‘Poland is strong because of Poles. It will be such a country as Poles create it regardless of all circumstances, which constitute the reality of the Polish nation.’ It is a hard task. However, our national adherence obliges us. ‘This name costs us all. This name obliges us all’ (John Paul II). This death is an obligation for us! It is a call of those who lost their lives. Nothing is coincidental. Today our heritage requires our testimony and defence.

Test of our responsibility for Poland

Our testimony concerning our identity has been a difficult task. It is an examination. Defence concerns all that belongs to tradition and history. The presidential elections will be a test of sovereignty and identity of each of us. They will be a test of our awareness and watch over the heritage. ‘I am watchful also means I feel responsible for the whole common heritage that is Poland’ (John Paul II). ‘Be watchful is not to allow what is human, what is Polish, what is Christian in this land to be lost’ (John Paul II). It means to preserve the spirit of freedom of spirit, personal independence facing the slavery of political correctness. It is not easy because it is not fashionable in the ‘elite saloons.’ But this freedom is a task to pay tribute to those who died recently and to the earlier generations, paying the debt for those who lost their lives. It is also a hard struggle. But John Paul II obliged us, ‘Never doubt, never get tired and discouraged.’ The tasks concerning our heritage have the authority of an imperative of conscience for each of us and for the nation. The imperative in which the Polish spirit is the subject of testimony, obligation and responsibility.
We choose ‘remembrance and identity!’

"Niedziela" 24/2010

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl