Pupils from primary schools in Pilczyca and Januszówka, eastern Poland, gathered in the Warsaw’s Belvedere and prepared 120 Christmas cards for Polish veterans living overseas, wishing them Merry Christmas, health, luck, and thanking them for an independent Poland.
The purpose of the scheme - inspired by the words of President Andrzej Duda during his swearing-in ceremony in 2015 - is to build a community for all Poles, regardless of where they live. According to Adam Kwiatkowski, the State Secretary in the Chancellery of the Polish President and the coordinator of the project, it has an educational and civic dimension.
This time, the cards will be sent to Polish WWII veterans living in Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and in South America. Among them are Warsaw Rising insurgents, as well as soldiers of the Home Army and the 2nd Polish Corps, the one that captured Monte Cassino hill in 1944.
“Handmade Christmas cards prepared by kids are a nice surprise for those who fought for Poland’s sovereignty and now live abroad, a sign that we remember them,” said Adam Kwiatkowski.
“There are also cases when the recipient makes contact with the child who sent him the card,” he added.
Mr Kwiatkowski stressed that the cards are a symbolic token of gratitude for those who fought for an independent Poland, and a sign of a living memory of their courage, commitment and sacrifice.
The “Card for a Veteran” was inaugurated in 2016, and has been carried out at Christmas, Easter, as well as on the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining independence.