ELBAG, Poland -- Celebrating the holidays this year is trickier because of COVID-19 and the related restrictions that impact our ability to gather together and celebrate and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. However, these restrictions do not remove the memory of those whose sacrifices allow us to enjoy the freedom and independence we now cherish.
The soldiers of Multinational Division North East have not forgotten those who came before, and on Nov. 11 we pay tribute to their memory.
Poland’s National Independence Day is a symbol of the steadfast fight for a free Poland. It is a symbol of unity, solidarity and faith in a better future. The fight for independence lasted over a hundred years and was marked with the blood of successive generations of Poles, who never came to terms with the loss of their homeland. Nov. 11 is a time of reflection, memories, but also a time of joy from regained independence.
And although the command does not formally organize and pay tribute to holidays this year, Nov. 10 was an opportunity to hand over to Polish soldiers the acts of appointment to the next military ranks and make wishes. As the division commander Polish Army Maj. Gen. Krzysztof Motacki said: "If nations lose their memory, lose their lives". Let us remember our past to preserve our identity, but let us look to the future. Congratulations to the promoted and my best wishes to all soldiers celebrating tomorrow.
While congratulating our colleagues on promotions, we also remember about the soldiers of the division headquarters and the MND-NE Command Support Regiment who take part in the exercise Iron Wolf 20 in Lithuania and there, tomorrow, they will celebrate the National Independence Day.
On Nov. 11, we also extend wishes to colleagues from other countries who celebrate Remembrance Day and Veterans Day. In the Commonwealth of Nations and in France, Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day, is celebrated due to the custom of wearing artificial poppies attached to clothes on this day as a sign of remembrance.
Veterans Day is an American commemoration of veterans serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Although the holiday is dedicated to the memory of all veterans, living and dead, its purpose is to honour mainly living soldiers and express thanks for their service to the country. Both the Remembrance Day and the Veterans Day were established on Nov. 11 to commemorate signing of the armistice that ended the First World War.