Monument to President Kaczynski
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
‘No poetry will be written about such presidents as Walesa, Kwasniewski or Komorowski but we are witnessing poetry and community songs about Lech Kaczynski’, Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glodz said at Jasna Gora on 26 August 2010. Since the tragedy at Smolensk, with its victims embracing the important personalities of the political life in Poland, including Lech Kaczynski, echoed very strongly in Poles’ awareness. Facing this drama they began reflecting on various things and asking questions about the causes of this plane crash. And although some time has passed, although the plane crash happened in the 21st century and was registered by various electronic equipments, we have not received answers to the fundamental questions yet and the crash is certain to remain a mystery for long.
Now we are facing the problem of constructing a monument dedicated to President Lech Kaczynski and the other victims of the crash. Warszawa, and surely Smolensk, are waiting for the possibility to commemorate and honour the late President and all the victims of this great tragedy. Lech Kaczynski was an extraordinary president. He was educated; had vast historical knowledge and knew what being rooted meant. He also had a definite vision of a strong and beautiful Poland, which he did not, unfortunately, manage to realise. He did his best to strengthen the position of Poland in the international forum. He did not want to be tapped on the back by the European politicians who were satisfied that Poles supported their conceptions but he thought about the good of the nation. He wanted an economically and culturally developed country and at the same time, a country friendly to her citizens. That’s why the Wawel Cathedral is a proper place of his rest. President Kaczynski knew what important role we played among the post-communist countries, and he tried to assure them that they had friends – the example was the unique openness to Ukraine and Georgia. And they looked hopefully at the capital of Poland – Warsaw and the President, who knew their threats well and knew that they needed help to preserve their identities and not to yield to the economic, political and cultural pressure.
Lech Kaczynski’s life was not easy. The intensified attack of various hostile forces, discredit in the media, unfriendliness of politicians and even insults – all these things influenced his functioning and shown him in an unfavourable light as well as it legitimised some attitudes towards him, neglecting his formal competences as Poland’s President.
On the occasion of his funeral and national mourning we could see the documentaries that had been placed in the TV archives. They showed a nice Presidential Couple; Lech Kaczynski as a very cordial, smiling and family-oriented person. And the question was raised, ‘Why are they showing him as a normal man only now? As one can see it was a big political manipulation. And that’s why the life of President Kaczynski was so tragic and why the nation wants to compensate that for him. Today, when there are activities aiming at belittling the value of Lech Kaczynski’s works and his presidential politics so that people forget about his concern for Poland, her place in Europe and in the world, the nation wants to have a worthy tribute to their President and all the people who accompanied him on the tragic flight to Smolensk. The important thing is that the monument should refer to the religious life of the President who had received the sacraments, the Eucharist and had had religious experiences. The monument should include these holy signs that are signs of eternity. One should tell the world about these things. It is in this context that one should understand the statement of the Council of the Diocesan Bishops, issued on 25 August 2010, that the nation waits for an appropriate monument to the President of the Republic of Poland, which should exist in the public space and not only in the cemetery space, and to remind Poland and the world of what the cemetery in Monte Cassino reminds, ‘Passer-by, tell Poland…’
When we are experiencing so many interferences of the media that are alien to our culture, we should remind people of Katyn – the genocide conducted by the Bolshevik leaders and executors of their commands and that we were waiting for the truth about the Katyn massacre for such a long time. We should also remind people that Lech Kaczynski did the most for the discovery of this truth because through his death many nations, including the Russian nation, learnt the most about the crimes against the innocent Poles. Therefore, one should thank him in a special way. He deserves honour and tribute because he undersigned the history of Poland with his own blood. He reminded us that Poland would not allow to be erased from Europe’s map. Poland, which is a Christian country, remains faithful to God and her history.