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Public Statements

Poland's 70 Year Journey

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

POLAND'S 70 YEAR JOURNEY -- (Senate - September 14, 2009)

Mr. KERRY. Madam President, this month we commemorate an important anniversary: 70 years ago the Second World War began in Europe with a ruthless Nazi assault on Poland. Outnumbered and outgunned, Poland's defenders fought bravely, forced to surrender only through the overwhelming force of their enemies. Every American should remember the sacrifice made by the heroes of Poland, whose bravery was tragically often rewarded with a concentration camp or a bullet in the head in a dark forest. They were the first of many innocent victims, almost too many to count.

On an occasion like this it is important to honor the past, remind the present of the sacrifice of those who came before, and warn the future that the world should never allow the initiation of such catastrophic events again.

In September 1939, authoritarian paranoia and violence won out over trust and humanity, and in the end the world burned. Seventy years later, Poland and its democratic neighbors work together in Brussels to build a better Europe. We remember the importance of that hard-won cooperation on this 70th anniversary.

As Americans, let us appreciate this achievement, help extend the cooperation, and continue to assist in the preservation of democratic ideals.

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