Ambassador Mark Brzezinski’s Remarks at Warsaw Independence Day Event

Ambassador Mark Brzezinski’s Remarks

Warsaw Independence Day Event

June 22, 2023

Witamy Serdecznie! Welcome to the American people’s house in Poland!

Welcome our Polish friends to an afternoon of music, and food and getting closer together! Let’s give it up to the US Navy Band for getting this party started!

And Sara James, what a beautiful rendition of the American and Polish national anthems!

It is wonderful for Olga Leonowicz and I to see so many friends here today!

When I look around right now, I see how close the American-Polish special friendship is. Thank you. Dziękuję for honoring us with your presence here today.

I am deeply grateful to the U.S. Embassy team for organizing this year’s event. And to the American and Polish business community who graciously donated to make this day so special, dziękuję, dziękuję, dziękuję!

Today’s party is not only special, it is really out of this world.

Because our theme tonight is space, a destination not just of our dreams, but an exciting area for international cooperation, including with Poland.

Why did we choose this theme? Because in 2022 and 2023, we saw something incredibly special in Poland: We witnessed a social mobilization in the face of danger like the world has never seen.

That gives us hope for a broader domestic renewal in Poland.

And America has seen that in the past: Especially in the Race to the Moon – it was President John F. Kennedy who challenged America to win the race to the moon – as he put it “not because it is easy, but because it is hard”.

It gripped the national imagination. It had the effect of spurring massive technological innovation.

Going to the Moon in 1969 remains a moment of national pride for all Americans, but also for the entire world.

And what Poland did in 2022-2023 is a point of national pride not just for Poland, but for the entire world.

Getting to the Moon unleashed new hope for humanity; and Poland’s mobilization in 2022-2023 unleashed new hope for humanity.

And now we are entering a new golden era of space exploration. NASA’s Artemis missions will put humans back on the lunar surface after more than 50 years!

The next big leap after that is Mars! And this experience will be shared with our international partners, including Poland.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson visited Warsaw earlier this month. I can tell you he was so impressed by the young people he engaged with.

The Chief of the US Space program was clear we have a great future together in the cosmos.

Pragniemy, aby Polska wspaniale rozwijała się i prosperowała nie tylko tu na Ziemi, ale też w przestrzeni kosmicznej! We want Poland to prosper and thrive on Earth and in outer space!

Our countries already have accomplished so much together. Over 500 years ago, Poland’s Nicolaus Copernicus proved the sun, not Earth, is the center of our solar system.

Centuries later, Polish hardware is part of NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover, which landed on the red planet in 2012 and is still providing valuable information to us back on Earth.

And the uncrewed ARTEMIS 1 mission, which circled the Moon last year, was outfitted with radiation sensors designed at the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Our shared future in space is the perfect metaphor for Independence Day and for Polish – U.S. friendship.

For the last 200 years, America and Poland have been linked in the struggle for freedom and the search for opportunity.

That is why Poles have come to America, and why Americans have come to Poland.

Over 200 years, there is a real history of sacrifice between our two nations, sacrifice for the cause of American freedom, sacrifice for the cause of Polish freedom.

We remain united in our efforts to help the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes. When Ukraine wins this war, we will join together in the rebuilding effort, constructing a free, prosperous, and peaceful shared future.

I can not overstate the following: The transformation and rebuilding of Ukraine will be a transformative moment for this entire region. For young people, there will be so many opportunities.

And the time to start getting organized for this is now.

We can’t address any of these issues alone. We need each other.

Poland is our trusted partner. We are linked by our history, by our shared responsibility for the future, and by our shared values. It’s these values and our achievements that we celebrate today.

The importance of rule of law, respect for human rights, and free and fair elections, with a level playing field, are underlined by celebrations like this one.

Nasze wspólne cele na ziemi jak i w kosmosie dają nam poczucie historycznej zmiany w nowym kierunku. Wierzymy, że być może pewnego dnia będziemy mogli świętować Dzień Niepodległości na Księżycu, a kto wie – może nawet na Marsie!

There is fantastic hope for the future – so much so that one day we will celebrate Independence Day on the Moon or maybe even Mars!

Now, it’s time to continue the party with more of the celestial voice of Sara James!

Happy 4th of July! We love you Poland! And today, more than ever, we celebrate the American-Polish special friendship!