President Andrzej Duda attended commemorations of Cadet Day on Friday, traditionally held on the anniversary of Poland’s 1830-31 November Uprising against the Russian Empire (Nov. 29), which was triggered by Polish military cadets.
In his address in front of Warsaw’s Belvedere Palace, Duda observed that generations of Poles had been unable to experience their country’s full independence, nor today’s unbroken 30 years of freedom.
“Whole generations of Poles could not experience thirty years of freedom and independence, could not experience Poland as it is today. Today they are looking at you from somewhere in heaven, perhaps they’re here somewhere, next to us, looking at their successors, young Polish soldiers (…) and future officers. I think they envy you and are proud of you, they envy you today’s Republic, free, sovereign and independent for 30 years,” the president told cadets attending the commemorations.
Duda remarked that although today Poland had strong international alliances, was a part of the EU, was developing well and increasingly prosperous, it still needed strengthening and had to preserve its traditions and culture.
“Poland still needs us to show great responsibility in building and strengthening it, but most of all in (preserving – PAP) our great traditions, our culture, our ethos, our Polish identity, which has prevailed in us unbroken for over 1,050 years,” Duda said.
The November Uprising broke out on November 29, 1830, when a group of non-commissioned officers at Warsaw’s Infantry Cadet School attacked the Belweder – the headquarters of the Polish Army’s Russian leadership. In all, around 54,000 Polish soldiers fought against a 115,000-strong Russian Army for over a year. The uprising’s fall in 1831 was followed by repression against its participants and drastically reduced the autonomy of the Russian-controlled Kingdom of Poland.