November Uprising is a symbol of our love for freedom: Polish President

Monday marks the 191st anniversary of the November Uprising which is also celebrated in Poland as Cadet’s Day. On this occasion an assembly was held in the Belweder Palace with the delegations of six uniformed universities - military, police and firefighters - taking part in the guard of honour delegation ceremony.

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The November Uprising remains in our memory as a symbol of love of freedom, President Andrzej Duda wrote in a letter read out during the ceremony by the head of the presidential office, Grażyna Ignaczak-Bandych. He stressed that the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border “dramatically showed” and that Poland constantly needs a strong and modern army.

The head of state emphasised that although the November Uprising was not successful it “remains in our historical memory as a symbol of the Polish love of freedom, as a reminder that our armed forces and masses of Polish patriots have never reconciled and will not reconcile with a foreign dictate, with external actions threatening the independence, security and unfettered development of our homeland”.

Poland’s Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, who took part in the ceremony, pointed out that it is extremely important for the durability of our homeland that young people decide to serve their country. “Poland is safe when both the armed forces and the services that guard our security are strong,” he stressed.

The head of the Defence Ministry also stated that “we see what is happening on the Polish-Belarusian border, we see how important it is to serve shoulder to shoulder with soldiers of the Polish Army, Border Guard officers, Polish policemen. They all guarantee the security of our homeland”.

191 years ago a group of students of the Infantry Cadet School in Warsaw under the command of 2nd Lt. Piotr Wysocki attacked the Belweder Palace which at the time was the residence of Grand Duke Konstanty, the Russian commander of the Polish army. Thus began the November Uprising against the Russian Empire. On the anniversary of the outbreak of the uprising, Cadet Day is celebrated, established in memory of the events of November 29-30, 1830.

In all, around 54,000 Polish soldiers fought in the uprising against a 115,000-strong Russian Army for over a year. The insurrection’s fall in 1831 was followed by repressions against its participants and drastically reduced the autonomy of the Kingdom of Poland.