Embassy Continues Its Support of Polish Youth at “Peers of Independence” Competition

Polish Youth Participating in Karta Foundation’s “Peers of Independence” Competition (Photography by Maciej Łabudzki "jak to się robi studio")

On November 9 at Dom Spotkań z Historią, Public Affairs Counselor Frank Finver and Deputy Cultural Attaché Scott Whitmore participated in the final competition of the Karta Foundation’s “Peers of Independence” project that the Embassy sponsored and helped kick off in April.  Established by the Karta Foundation to honor the centennial of Poland regaining its independence in 1918, the “Peers of Independence” project encouraged Polish youth to study and learn about the fates and lives of citizens from their hometowns who signed the 1926 Polish Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States.  This breathtaking document, which one eminent U.S. scholar called “the biggest love letter from one nation to another in history,” can be found on the web portal http://nieskonczenieniepodlegla-ludzie.pl/.  Signed by 5.5 million Polish citizens – 20 percent of Poland’s population at the time – and comprising a staggering 111 volumes, the document contains touching, artistic expressions of gratitude from across Polish society to America for its support of the Second Polish Republic at the end of World War I.  The declarations were presented by Poland to U.S. President Calvin Coolidge in honor of the 150th anniversary of American independence in 1926.   The Embassy’s support for the Karta Foundation’s inspirational youth project forms part of the Mission’s ongoing “100 Lat Razem” (100 Years Together) initiative that highlights the people-to-people ties between Poland and the United States during the last century.  Public Affairs Counselor Frank Finver commended the youth on their research projects and expressed hope that “this long research journey that you have been on has inspired you about Poland and about America.  Most of all, we hope you will continue to cherish the special bonds that have always united our two peoples … and that you will continue to nurture these bonds during your own lifetimes and well into the future.”