On November 14, Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher hosted a tribute to her predecessor Arthur Bliss Lane, the first U.S. Ambassador to Poland after World War II, and accepted posthumously the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland on his behalf, presented by Minister Krzysztof Szczerski representing President Andrzej Duda. Ambassador Mosbacher also unveiled a commemorative plaque to be installed at site of Lane’s postwar embassy offices once located at the Polonia Palace Hotel.
The event was part of the centenary celebrations of diplomatic relations between Poland and the United States (100 Years Together!) and highlighted Ambassador Lane’s important work. Ambassador Mosbacher gave remarks concluding by saying: “Today, as we honor Ambassador Lane’s legacy and contributions to Poland’s freedom, we are writing new and exciting history together. It is a story of a strong, free, independent Poland that is an inseparable ally of the United States. This is what Ambassador Lane would have wanted.”
In his remarks, Prof. Piotr Gliński, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and National Heritage described Ambassador Lane as a true hero, both for Poland and for the United States.
The assembled guests of around 120 had a chance to hear about and discuss the life and legacy of Ambassador Lane from presentations by the U.S. Embassy Economic Counselor John Armstrong (who wrote his master’s thesis on the life and career of Ambassador Lane) and Polish diplomatic history professor Dr. Anna Mazurkiewicz of the University of Gdansk.
The entire event was emceed by Jacek Stawiski, award-winning documentarian and editor-in-chief at TVN BiS and was covered by Poland’s three major television networks and the main Polish news wire service. USAFE Jazz Ambassadors added musical flavor to the event by performing selections from the 1940s including the Chattanooga Choo Choo, a huge hit in Poland after the Second World War.