Ambassador Mark Brzezinski’s Interview with TVN24

29 May 2023

Michał Sznajder, TVN24:  Ambasador Stanów Zjednoczonych w Polsce, Mark Brzezinski.  Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much for joining us.

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Thank you for having me, Michał.

Michał Sznajder, TVN24:  Mr. Ambassador, what is Memorial Day and how is it celebrated?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Memorial Day in America, Michał, is one of our most important national holidays because it celebrates Americans who have paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives to defend our values of freedom and democracy and to defend our country.  The holiday started with the Civil War, America’s bloodiest war, but then was extended to celebrate American soldiers who have given their lives in all wars; World War II, World War I saw the loss of thousands and thousands of Americans.  Americans spend this day — many Americans do — by going to our cemeteries to visit our cemeteries to honor our war dead.  I remember, Michał, when I was little, my father, Zbigniew Brzezinski, born in Poland, taking me and my brother to the American soldiers’ cemetery in Normandy, France, where we saw the Crosses and the Stars of David over the tombstones of those soldiers — 29,000 soldiers — who died in the invasion of Normandy.  I know that in Poland there are memorials for Americans who paid the ultimate sacrifice trying to help Poland.  In Warsaw, in Słuchowo, in Słupsk, there are memorials [commemorating B-17 pilots and others – ed.] that were shot down over Poland trying to help the Warsaw Uprising.  So that’s what Memorial Day is all about.

Michał Sznajder, TVN24:  Those American soldiers, why do they serve overseas?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  That’s an important question, Michał.  ‘Why do American soldiers serve overseas?’  We have thousands of American soldiers in Poland, for example.  American soldiers serve overseas to defend shared values.   Values like democracy, rule of law, freedom of elections, fairness of elections, and human rights, and freedom of the media.  Those are the reasons, those are the fundamental underpinning of values, as to why American soldiers serve overseas, and that cannot be forgotten.  We, of course, defend Allies without regard to which party wins an election.  It’s up to the people of a foreign country to choose their own leader.  But, when our American troops are deployed, they’re deployed to defend values – wartości po Polsce – and that cannot be missed.  Values of rule of law – praworządność – values of freedom of elections, fairness of elections, human rights.

Michał Sznajder, TVN24:  Mr. Ambassador, how could ‘lex Tusk’ influence those shared values?

Ambassador Brzezinski:  We are well aware of the concerns expressed by many regarding this law, and we fully appreciate and understand why President Duda forwarded this bill to the Constitutional Tribunal to ascertain whether these concerns render the law unconstitutional.  I will say this:  the United States government shares concerns about laws that could appear to allow for the preempting of voters ability to vote for the candidates of their choice outside of a clearly defined process in independent courts.

Michał Sznajder, TVN24:  Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much for your time.  Thank you for visiting us on such a significant day for the American people, on Memorial Day.

Ambassador Brzezinski:  Thank you, Michał, for having me.