One hundred years ago guns of the Great War fell silent...
Mass slaughter on a scale the World has not seen before, brought up to 19 million deaths and left more than 22 million people wounded, at least 7 million of which become permamently disabled. Further millions suffered from hunger and disease, and, despite the hopes it would be "the war to end all wars", further conflicts, inflamed by fall of German, Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires, lasted for several more years, taking further millions of victims with them, most of them during the Russian Civil War.
It left societies ravaged, communities decimated, people demoralized by barbarity of war on the frontline and hardships in the civilian life.
Even worse, results of the Great War sowed the seeds of the next, even more horrible and devastating war that was to come in just two decades.
Yet, by now all those who fought in that war, heroes and villains, those on the winning side and those on the losing one, those who lived to see the peace and those whose luck left them too early, all those who fought for what they believed in, who loved and hoped, are now in a place where there are no wars nor frontlines, no winners and no defeated.
One hundred years ago Poland, my Motherland, has regained independence...
After 123 years under Prussian/German, Russian and Austrian rule, in the aftermath of the fall of these empires in the Great War, Poland returned to the map of Europe. For more than a century, generations of Poles patriots tried, in vain, but paying great price in blood and misery, to restitute our independence, yet eventually their dream was fulfilled. Beginning of global turmoil reignited hopes of Polish patriots of all political persuasions, who tirelessly fought - both on battlefields, in diplomatic cabinets and on the public forum, on all possible fronts and in all possible political combinations - for their shared goal.
Let us remember those who struggled and suffered, hoping for the better world and better future for those they loved.