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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland
  • NEWS

  • 16 July 2018

    “Together with our Lithuanian partners, today we bow our heads before the memorial to heroic Lithuanian pilots. We are confident that Poland and Lithuania will keep developing their cooperation based on a strategic partnership, historical and cultural brotherhood, and mutual respect for the rights and freedoms of national minorities,” said Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz at a ceremony to mark the 85th anniversary of the plane crash of Lithuanian pilots Stasys Girėnas and Steponas Darius near Pszczelnik in the vicinity of Mysliborz.

     

    On 15 July 1933, the two Lithuanian pilots made a pioneer attempt to fly over the Atlantic, from New York to Kaunas. Their plane crashed in Pszczelnik after 37 hours of flight, only 650 km before reaching their destination.


    On this occasion, Minister Jacek Czaputowicz attended an official Holy Mass in the Cathedral of St Jacob in Szczecin and laid flowers at the plaque to commemorate the Lithuanian pilots. He then went to Pszczelnik, where he took part in a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the crash and laid a wreath at the memorial that honours Statys Girėnas and Steponas Darius.

    During the visit, Minister Jacek Czaputowicz also met with Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius of Lithuania. He congratulated him on the centenary of Lithuania’s regained independence. “It is a great opportunity to reflect on our history and on what we still have in common. I am glad that we are here together,” said the chief of Polish diplomacy. “We are not only linked by a centuries-long history of co-existence and a common statehood, but also a similar experience of struggling with Russian and then Soviet imperialism,” he emphasized. “Also today, in the 21st century, there is much more that links us than that divides us. We share a vision of Central and Eastern Europe, a similar concept of threats and similar strategic interests, which are a basis for a mutually beneficial cooperation in security, energy, and infrastructure,” he added. “I am confident that today, probably more than ever before, the close cooperation between Poles and Lithuanians in the spirit of solidarity is needed and possible,” underscored Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.


    The ceremonies in Szczecin and Pszczelnik were also attended by the Ministers of Defense of Poland and Lithuania Mariusz Błaszczak and Raimundas Karoblis.


     
    MFA Press Office

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