Poland: Reclaiming a Proud Past

The government resurrects Independence Day and an old hero

As the first snow of winter fell on Warsaw last week, the honor guard stepped smartly up to Poland's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A crowd of 2,000, including a row of officials, watched in respectful silence as President Henryk Jablonski solemnly placed a wreath at the base of the granite monument. In hundreds of towns and cities throughout the Western world, Armistice Day is observed in much the same fashion. But the Polish ceremony marked a significant break with the Communist past, a...

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