14.4.10

Statement about the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria, Anna Walentynowicz, Władysław Stasiak, and scores of Poland’s nati

April 10th, 2010

Speaker Newt Gingrich made the following statement today about the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria, Anna Walentynowicz, Władysław Stasiak, and scores of Poland’s national leaders and leading citizens:

Callista and I grieve with the Polish nation today upon learning of the loss of so many dear Polish lives. Throughout history, Poland has struggled on behalf of freedom loving peoples everywhere. In every generation, leaders rise in Poland who are willing to endure hardship and make sacrifices in defense of the dignity of man and for the cause of human liberty. The words "For your freedom and ours” truly defines Poland’s contribution to the world.

One year ago in Warsaw we had the privilege to meet Chief of Staff Władysław Stasiak and his wife. Mr. Stasiak, a great Polish patriot, was deeply committed to working for the common good. His professionalism, wisdom, and courage in service of Poland will serve as an example for all those who serve in government.

We especially remember today the life of Anna Walentynowicz, whose moral courage in the face of tyranny during the Gdansk shipyard strike of August 1980 changed the course of history and helped liberate her country from a communist dictatorship.

That the world would lose so many Polish heroes at once is almost beyond comprehension. Yet the deep faith of the Polish people, shared by millions around the world, will sustain them – and all of us -- in the days ahead.

Nearly one year ago, President Kaczynski, his wife Maria, Polish military leaders, the Archbishop of Warsaw, and thousands of Polish citizens gathered to dedicate a 30 foot cross in Warsaw’s Pilsudski Square to remember the 1979 pilgrimage to their homeland of their fellow Pole, Pope John Paul II. Upon unveiling the memorial cross, this recording of Pope John Paul II’s was played: “Today, I look at the whole of Poland. From the Tatra Mountains to the Baltic Sea and this Cross says to whole of Poland, sursum corda, lift up your hearts.”

Callista and I pray that the Polish people, and especially those who have lost family members and dear friends today, will find the strength in their faith to lift up their hearts, and be sustained with peace, comfort, and the prayers of millions during this difficult time.

Ronald Reagan Quotes