Ambassadeur

Speech Ambassado, Mr. J. Michałowski

Madam Mayor, Mister Commissioner, Sosabowski Family, Dear Veterans (Drodzy
Weterani), Distinguished Guests,

It is a great honour to me to
participate today in this very important celebration, especially together with
the present veterans. Yesterday we witnessed a great event. Her Majesty Queen
Beatrix decorated the 6th Air Assault Brigade, inheritor of the tradition of the
brave 1st Independent Parachute Brigade, with the military Order of William, as
well as post mortem the great Polish hero – General Stanisław Sosabowski with
the Order of the Bronze Lion. In this way, after more than 60 years, The
Netherlands eventually officially honoured the Polish Parachute Brigade, its
commander General Sosabowski and the historical error has been redressed, as Her
Majesty said yesterday.

Today’s celebration is one of the many symbols of
the contribution of the Polish soldiers to the liberation of the Netherlands
from the German occupation. It has been an important and elevated moment, not
only for the Dutch nation, but also for the Polish soldiers, veterans, who had
to fight for the independence of their fatherland on many fronts.

I would
like to thank Her Majesty Queen Beatrix, the Dutch authorities, the citizens of
Driel and Arnhem and the Dutch nation for cultivating the historical remembrance
and for appreciating the contribution of the Polish soldiers to the liberation
of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Particularly I would like to thank those who
contributed very intensively to the recognition of the brave General Sosabowski
and the Polish soldiers in the Battle of Arnhem. There are many of them, but in
this place I would like to mention the name of Mrs. Cora Balthussen, who
dedicated most of her life to gain the acknowledgment for the bravery of General
Sosabowski and his Brigade.

I will now read the letter from the Polish
minister of Defense Mr. Radosław Sikorski addressed to the veterans.