"You must keep the memory of the Monte Cassino battle for future generations"
- A holy mass at the grave of Saint John Paul II and a meeting at the Monte Cassino cemetery, a cemetery of Polish soldiers who died fighting for Poland, are events that we will remember for years. The presence in this places, in Rome and Monte Cassino, is proof that we remember and want to remember and that these figures and these events constitute a very important element of our national identity - said Mariusz Błaszczak, Minister of National Defence on Saturday in Rome.
The head of the Ministry of National Defence participated on May 18 in ceremonies organized in Italy on the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino. This year, the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda and Italian President Sergio Mattarella, were also present at the ceremony.
The ceremonies at the Polish military cemetery in Monte Cassino began with a service led by the Field Bishop of the Polish Army, Józef Guzdek.
This year during the ceremony, LtC Wojciech Narębski, veteran of the 2nd Polish Corps, called "Big Wojtek" read the will - proclamation to the young prepared by veterans of the 2nd Polish Corps.
"You must remember the truth about the Battle of Monte Cassino in memory for future generations, the truth about our sacrifice, about the death of our colleagues, about the desperation with which we overcame the terrain obstacles in the murderous fire of the enemy. It all lies deeply in our hearts, but we want to be sure that when the last of us leaves the “Earth's paddock”, there will be successors who will remember, that they will visit our colleagues' grave and pay tribute to them - wrote veterans - soldiers of 2 Polish Corps in the testament to the youth.
During the ceremony, the Call of the Fallen was read and the military choir sang the song "Czerwone Maki" (Red Poppies).
Official ceremonies were completed by the ceremony of laying wreaths. Minister Blaszczak also lit a candle on the grave of General Wladysław Anders.
Before the main ceremonies held at the Monte Cassino Cemetery, Mariusz Blaszczak, the Minister of National Defence and military commanders participated in the Holy Mass celebrated in the Vatican Basilica at the grave of Saint John Paul II. The Mass for the Homeland was celebrated on the 99th anniversary of the birth of the Pope. The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Jan Romeo Pawłowski, delegate for nunciatures in the Secretariat of State of the Apostolic Capital
75 years ago, after fierce battles, the troops of the 2nd Polish Corps commanded by General Władysław Anders secured the hill and monastery at Monte Cassino, opening the way for allied forces to Rome. As the first to reach the top of the hill, was the patrol of the 12th Regiment of Podolski Uhlans, whose soldiers arrived and stuck the regimental pennant on the hill. Then, the Polish and British flags were hung over the rubble of the Benedictine monastery. The Battle of Monte Cassino became a symbol of the great sacrifice and extraordinary fortitude of Polish soldiers on the western front.