WARSAW, Poland - Approximately 30 Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, 1st Infantry Division from Fort Riley, Kansas and four Soldiers from 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery out of Baumholder, Germany, took part in Poland's Constitution Day Parade in Warsaw, Poland, May 3, 2019.
"Today we are showing our support for the Polish government and its people by participating in its national constitution parade," said Lt. Benjamin Gordon, tank platoon leader from 2nd Bn, 34th Armored Regt., 1st ABCT, 1st ID. "This is a historical event, it shows when the Polish constitution was formed."
The 2nd Bn, 34th Armored Regt., 1st ABCT, 1st ID Soldiers marched in formation and were followed by an M1A2 Abrams Tank, M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and an MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air defense missile system, in celebration of Poland's Constitution.
The 'Stronger with Allies' military parade, featuring hundreds of military and police vehicles as well as several aircraft flyovers, also celebrated Poland's ascension to NATO 20 years ago and its 15 year anniversary within the European Union.
Thousands of people, mostly of Polish descent, lined the streets of Warsaw to witness a portion of the massive military firepower of Poland and her allies. This firepower emphasizes the availability of combat-credible forces, ready to respond to threats and global crises.
"We are celebrating [the] 228 [year] anniversary of our constitution, which was the first in Europe," said Polish Army Lt. Col. Waldemar Pawelec of the First Armor Brigade. "The United States constitution was the first [in the world] and next the Polish."
Poland's Constitution day, similar to the United States' 4th of July, provides attendees a taste of Polish Patriotism and acquaints them with, what many believe to be, one of the most cherished Polish achievements; a nation free of outside oppression.
Poland's Constitution Day is an official public holiday, which commemorates the enactment of the Polish Constitution that came into effect on May 3, 1791. The calendar period between May 1 (Labor Day), and Constitution Day, provides most Poles with a three-day off-work weekend.
"[The parade], it shows that we care about them and their history, and it shows that all of NATO cares about them as well," concluded Gordon. "This helps build that interoperability with them, it builds that trust with them to help set up future operations."
The Devil Brigade is part of more than 6,000 U.S. regionally-allocated Soldiers in Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, on a nine-month rotation, in support of Atlantic Resolve.