by Jolanta Ryba
November 11th marks the 99th anniversary of Poland’s regaining independence. Governor of Małopolska Piotr Ćwik planned a rich program of this year’s celebration of the National Independence Day in Krakow and it was fully realized with the enthusiastic participation of children and young people, local residents, many families from Cracow, visitors from other parts of the country and foreign tourists.
This year’s Saturday celebrations began at. 8 in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with the participation of the Polish Army at Matejko Square. The speech was given by the voivode Piotr Ćwik and the wreaths were made. At. 10.30 flowers were placed at the monument of Soldiers of Polish Fighting. At 11 in the Cathedral of Wawelskiej Holy Mass was held with the intention of the Motherland under the leadership of the Metropolitan of Cracow ks. Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski. After Mass. at Wawel Castle on 12.15 were distributed about a thousand state flags with spears, made by women residing in a rehabilitation center in Nowa Huta. From Wawel, there was a patriotic procession that went to the Main Market Square. Participants of the march stopped in the square of Father Adam Studziński, where they laid flowers at the Katyn Cross.
On the Market Square at the 13th began a military orchestra performance. Later, the Cracovia Danza dance team performed a polonaise, which they could also dance to celebrating Cracovians and tourists. There were 800 portions of grochówka soup and many participants of the Independence Day were happy with it. It was cooked by the soldiers, so permission was given by National Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz. On the occasion of the Independence Day, the President of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski appealed to the inhabitants of the city to display the national flag on their homes and it must be admitted that they shimmered in white and red. On the anniversary of the regaining of independence, Cracow was richly decorated with slogans, historical photographs, and many national flags. They appeared on the Main Square, Small Market, on public buildings and on public transport vehicles.
On the Independence Day, Fr Bernatka’s footbridge and the Leipzig-Wieliczka flyover shone in white and red. Patriotic illuminations also included Tauron Arena Kraków. November 11 14.30 Cracow and RMF FM radio has invited the “II Polish singing of white and red” and it has to be acknowledged that it has gained a large number of followers. On the Main Market was held the largest karaoke in Poland. In turn, at 17 began the singing event “Joy of Independence”. Similarly, as in the previous event, representatives of several generations took part in it – from the youngest to the oldest inhabitants of Cracow as well as guests from abroad.
This year’s Independence Day was very successful, took place in a peaceful and festive atmosphere and contributed to cultivating the patriotic feelings of several generations of Poles.