Poland commemorates Independence Day
PR dla Zagranicy
On Wednesday, marches, rallies and concerts in towns and cities nationwide will mark the 97th anniversary of Poland's restored sovereignty in 1918.
President Andrzej Duda (2P) with First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda (2L). Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
In the capital, Polish President Andrzej Duda began commemorations at 9 am local time by attending a mass at the Holy Cross Church. Later in the day, he is to pay his respects at two monuments to Marshal Jozef Pilsudski, in front of the Belvedere Palace and at Pilsudski Square, to honor the memory of one of the key architects of Poland's independence.
Other planned events in Warsaw include the annual Independence Run, which is to kick start at precisely 11.11 am. Some 15,000 people are to take part in the ten-kilometer race.
The event will be followed by a parade attended by reenactment groups dressed in military uniforms from different wars and insurgencies in Poland's history.
At 2 pm, the nationalist Independence March, expected to draw some 50,000 participants, will walk from the capital's western to its eastern bank under the slogan "Poland for Poles. Poles for Poland." The phrase alludes to an infamous anti-Semitic slogan from before World War II and one which has been accompanying neofascists in the country for decades.
Over the years, the demonstration has regularly ended with outbreaks of violence and clashes with the police. (aba/di)