AP

With war nearby, US shows support for Poland on army holiday

Aug 15, 2022, 3:09 AM | Updated: 7:55 am

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Polish president and other officials marked their nation’s Armed Forces Day holiday Monday alongside the U.S. army commander in Europe and regular American troops, a symbolic show of support for NATO members on the eastern front as Russia wages war nearby in Ukraine.

Gen. Darryl Williams, the new commanding general of United States Army Europe and Africa, attended the ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in downtown Warsaw.

Nearby Polish children climbed on top of a U.S. and other other NATO tanks, helped by smiling American, British and Romanian soldiers.

Despite the festive atmosphere, Williams told The Associated Press that the U.S. presence was meant to deliver a message of “strength and resilience”

“It is about deterrence, about being strong, NATO is strong, the Polish people are strong, and we are standing shoulder to shoulder with them,” he said.

The holiday commemorates Poland’s victory in 1920 over Soviet Russia in the Battle of Warsaw, which stopped the Bolshevik army’s westward advance.

President Andrzej Duda in a speech recalled how Soviet commanders at the time were sure of victory, drawing a obvious parallel to Russian assumptions when it launched it full-scale war on Ukraine on Feb. 24.

“For 74 years of its existence, Soviet Russia lost only one official war, and it was that war 102 years ago,” he said.

Duda accused Russia breaking a taboo in force since World War II which held that nations do not attack sovereign nations seeking to deprive them of their territory or independence.

Among those attending the ceremonies was 94-year-old Zbigniew Kruszewski, a veteran of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against Nazi German occupiers. At that time Soviet forces, stood by as the Germans slaughtered Poles.

“We didn’t get help, we were abandoned,” Kruszewski, who now lives in Texas, told the AP, saying he hopes the presence of U.S. troops means Poland would not be abandoned again.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak ahead of the ceremony told reporters: “Years pass, but one thing is constant — when Russia tries to rebuild its empire, it is always an evil empire. It always commits war crimes.”

Polish troops from the different branches of the armed forces paraded down a street lined with fluttering white-and-red national Polish flags, and Duda promoted new generals.

The military held picnics seeking to recruit volunteers into the armed forces amid a new sense of threat fueled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

American troops have taken part before in the Aug. 15 celebration before but it is the first one since President Joe Biden announced at a NATO summit in late June that Washington was establishing its first permanent U.S. military presence in Poland — something Poland has long sought.

The newly named Camp Kosciuszko in Poznan, western Poland, is a shared Polish-U.S. base that becomes the permanent headquarters in Poland for the U.S. Army’s V Corps, and the easternmost U.S. Army base in Europe. Many of the American troops there, however, still serve on a rotational basis.

The base is named after Gen. Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a hero of the American Revolution who strengthened the fortifications of West Point, and who later returned to Poland to fight imperial Russian forces.

Maj. Kevin Andersen, a U.S. Army public affairs officer, said that troops are having trouble saying the name Kosciuszko (roughly pronounced koh-SHOOSH’-koh) and many have been calling it “Camp K” instead.

He said the army has created a video helping the soldiers to learn to say it as a gesture of respect to Poland as it welcomes the Americans.

“For now it’s a lot of Camp K., but we’re really trying to convince the soldiers to pronounce the full Camp Kosciuszko,” he said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

3 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

4 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

11 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

12 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

14 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

With war nearby, US shows support for Poland on army holiday