Chairman foundation Driel-Polen: Mr. A.J.M. Baltussen
Ladies & Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Driel-Polen Foundation I would like to welcome you all to this commemoration, where we give special attention to the contribution of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade to the Battle of Arnhem – 68 years ago.
A special word of welcome to

The 8 Polish Veterans, who could make the way to Driel from their home in Great Britain, USA and the Netherlands and Mr. Ford a pilot who dropped several of the veterans near Driel.
Also to the widows of Polish veterans from Poland, England and the Netherlands
The Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Poland His Excellency Professor Janusz Cisek
The Ambassador of the Republic of Poland His Excellency Mr. Borkowski and Mrs. Borowska
The Ambassador of Great Britain and representatives from the United States of America and Canada
The representative of the Queen’s Commissioner of our province Mr. Markink
The Burgomaster of this municipality Mrs. Tuijnman
The Representative of the Brig. Gen. S.F. Sosabowski’s 6 Airborne Brigade – Major Ciborowski
The representative of the Sosabowski family Mr. Jeremy Sosabowski
The representative of the British veterans Lt. Colonel David Russell
The Burgomasters of the partner municipalities of Overbetuwe in Germany as well as Poland
Mr. Wernard from Usingen in Germany
Mr. Bergmann from Zulpich in Germany
and from Boleszkowice in Poland represented by Mrs. Zarcharska
All the British veterans present this afternoon
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.

We would also like to welcome you this afternoon, as we pay respect to the contribution made by the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade to the Battle of Arnhem, 68 years ago.

On 9 May this year, the 120th birthday of General Stanislaw Franciszek Sosabowksi, the Senate of the Republic of Poland declared month of September 2012 to be the month of commemoration.
The end of this decision states,
“this decision has been taken to commemorate the services made by one of the best Polish commanders from the period of the Second World War and to honour the General, his men from the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade and the affiliated Cichociemni Parachutists. The decision was also intended as a token of appreciation and gratefulness to the authorities and residents of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for their valuable commemoration of General Sosabowski and his team of men.” End of quote

Today we have come together once again to commemorate the contribution made by this General and his Brigade to the Battle of Arnhem.

Boys and girls of the choir. It is fantastic that you are attending this commemoration as a group once again.
The theme for the commemoration of our liberation in May of this year was “freedom is something you pass on”
The fact that you and all of the children from Driel who have gone before you have attended this event, has made a contribution to this theme. “Freedom is something you pass on!”

I was at your school to talk about little bit about the history and the commemoration. You may remember me talking about how Poland was occupied in 1939 and many families were forced to leave for Northern Russia. I told you the story of one of the veterans in attendance here this afternoon as an example. When doing so, I also showed you a photograph of him. Try and see if you can see him sitting in the first row, on your left-hand-side, during the commemoration and think back to the journey he had to make before finally being dropped here in Driel in September 1944. The other Polish veterans sitting in that row have a similar story.
It is very special to all of us, in particular to these veterans, that you will be singing 2 songs in Polish this afternoon. It is also special that you will be accompanied by your peers from Poland.
Good luck!

Ladies and gentlemen,
For a number of years now, young people from the Airborne International Youth Conference have read a poem, and one of these boys has assisted us with reading the Polish texts. We are very grateful to them for this. This year Adriana Korzeniowska will be reading the Polish texts.

The youth choir, accompanied by the orchestra with peers from Krakow – Promyki Krakowa, will shortly be singing the song “Pienkna nasza Polska cała”, which can be translated as “our beautiful Poland”.