Skip to comments.(Walesa) In Solidarity: The Polish people, hungry for justice, preferred "cowboys" over Communists
Posted on 06/10/2004 9:20:55 PM PDT by Tamzee
GDANSK, Poland--When talking about Ronald Reagan, I have to be personal. We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty. This can't be said often enough by people who lived under oppression for half a century, until communism fell in 1989.
Poles fought for their freedom for so many years that they hold in special esteem those who backed them in their struggle. Support was the test of friendship. President Reagan was such a friend. His policy of aiding democratic movements in Central and Eastern Europe in the dark days of the Cold War meant a lot to us. We knew he believed in a few simple principles such as human rights, democracy and civil society. He was someone who was convinced that the citizen is not for the state, but vice-versa, and that freedom is an innate right.
I often wondered why Ronald Reagan did this, taking the risks he did, in supporting us at Solidarity, as well as dissident movements in other countries behind the Iron Curtain, while pushing a defense buildup that pushed the Soviet economy over the brink. Let's remember that it was a time of recession in the U.S. and a time when the American public was more interested in their own domestic affairs. It took a leader with a vision to convince them that there are greater things worth fighting for. Did he seek any profit in such a policy? Though our freedom movements were in line with the foreign policy of the United States, I doubt it.
--Mr. Walesa, winner of the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize, was president of Poland from 1990 to 1995.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
Lech Walesa speaks of freedom and cowboys...
Oh, thank you! That's an incredible picture to post along with his tribute to President Reagan...
Big, Big Bump.
You are a true statesman Lech Walesa. The U.S. didn't have to shed blood to free you, but unlike the Frogs, you showed up when it counted. You showed you, and the Frogs were shown up!
Once more, I have another occasion to think you're a class act.
President Reagan had a powerful impact, not only in American .. but all around the world
God Bless You President Reagan
And as you said in your final speech to the nation before leaving office
Not bad .. Not bad at all
Great article Tamsey! It was also a touching moment to see Lech Walesa pay tribute to his dear friend Ronald Reagan at the Capitol.
Reagan was definately a giant, and when you're a giant, you can see further beyond the horizon than most. This is what symbolizes Reagan the best, he knew what laid ahead for the rest of us, even if the media thought Reagan didn't know what he was doing. I believe history will look back on Bush in the same way.
bump for later
Thank you for the ping.
It certainly was a beautiful moment, especially when remembering the struggles of the 80's.
It's also an excellent article to combat the "Reagan-just-had-lucky-timing-and-didn't-destroy-communism" lefties....
Thanks for posting that great picture! I cried when I saw him kneel on one knee, touching the casket in silent prayer. This was as touching as Lady Thatcher giving curtsie to Reagan's casket (a gesture only reserved for royalty).
"I have often been asked in the United States to sign the poster that many Americans consider very significant. Prepared for the first almost-free parliamentary elections in Poland in 1989, the poster shows Gary Cooper as the lonely sheriff in the American Western, "High Noon." Under the headline "At High Noon" runs the red Solidarity banner and the date--June 4, 1989--of the poll. It was a simple but effective gimmick that, at the time, was misunderstood by the Communists. They, in fact, tried to ridicule the freedom movement in Poland as an invention of the "Wild" West, especially the U.S.
But the poster had the opposite impact: Cowboys in Western clothes had become a powerful symbol for Poles. Cowboys fight for justice, fight against evil, and fight for freedom, both physical and spiritual.
Pray for W and Saint Nancy
I was too young to understand what it was all about at the time, but I've grown to know that the Polish protests of struggle were for a taste of freedom and democracy. This struggle was just one example of opression falling by the wayside to freedom. Freedom cannot be defeated, if freedom is given a chance.
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