After being torn apart by three aggressors – Austria, Prussia and Russia in 1795, the Polish nation never gave up the fight for freedom. During more than a century of occupation, Poles continued to organise resistance and cultivate their national culture and traditions, even under the threat of imprisonment and death from their oppressors. Finally, in 1918, the brave Polish legions, led by military and political genius Marshal Józef Piłsudski, succeeded in winning back independence for Poland.

“Entire generations didn’t have such luck as we have today. Especially those young people born after 1989, who can’t remember the times when Poland wasn’t fully free, when we couldn’t even say out loud what we wanted.” - said Andrzej Duda, President od Poland

The Polish president also gave awards to people who have served Poland exceptionally. The Order of the White Eagle was given to, among others, a historian, prof. Andrzej Nowak and prof. Grażyna Świątecka.

ANDRZEJ DUDA, PRESIDENT OF POLAND: “As we saw today, we have many great people who received awards. All of them, are a great part of all walks of Polish life, beginning with science, through theatre, music and all forms of art, ending with the service for the country and fighting for independence".

The official celebrations ended with government officials laying flowers in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, honouring all those who sacrificed their lives for Polish freedom.