For Immediate Release | Check Against Delivery

November 12, 2017

Statement: Mayor Crombie Marks Remembrance Day and Polish Independence Day

The following remarks were delivered by Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish to mark Remembrance Day and Polish Independence Day:

“Good afternoon, everyone.

“On behalf of the City of Mississauga and Members of Council, I am humbled and honoured to return to St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish to mark both Remembrance Day and Polish Independence Day – which commemorates the anniversary of the restoration of Poland’s sovereignty as the Second Polish Republic in 1918, following 123 years of partition.

“During this solemn month of November, it is fundamental that we remember, reflect on and celebrate the sacrifices made by both Canadian and Polish soldiers.

“These heroic men and women struggled, fought and ultimately overcame unthinkable tyranny to defend the ideals embodied in the Polish Constitution, so Poland could be a sovereign nation in 1918; a nation of free people solely responsible for determining their own destiny.

“Over the decades – and as a result of many more bloody battles during World War 1, World War 2 and throughout the oppression of the Communists during the Cold War – if it were not for their bravery, their sacrifices, and the commitment shown by both Polish and Canadian men and women; a steadfast determination to uphold the values of democratic rights, individual freedom, and respect for the rule of law; we would not have celebrated mass together this morning; we would not be able to share in our Roman Catholic faith with one another; we would not be standing here today.

“Let me single out the brave Canadian aviators who assisted during the Second World War toward the resistance of the Warsaw Uprising against the brutal Nazis regime.

“The Warsaw Uprising was a heroic, yet tragic Second World War operation by the Polish Resistance Army to free Warsaw from the Nazi occupiers.

“It was also the largest single military effort taken by any European resistance movement during World War II.

“The Uprising was timed to coincide with the Soviet Union’s Red Army approaching the eastern suburbs of the city and the retreat of German forces.

“Although the Polish resistance fought bravely for 63 days, Warsaw was left in ruins and over 250,000 innocent lives were lost.

“As we gather here at the Pope Saint John Paul II cultural centre, to mark Remembrance Day, I reminded of the words of our beloved freedom fighter, the Holy Father, who once said: Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.

“Canadian and Polish soldiers understood this best and through their brave actions did what was necessary to defeat tyranny.

“Today, Canada and Poland are respected leaders of the free world.

“Let us remember, that this freedom was defended and safeguarded with the blood and sacrifices of our soldiers.

“Lest we forget.”