On the Occasion of Poland's Constitution Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 30, 2015

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the Polish people as you celebrate the 224th anniversary of your constitution on May 3.

Poland’s journey has long been personal to me. I have visited several times, and it’s no accident that I chose Poland for my first stop in Central Europe as Secretary of State. I was deeply moved to stand at the gravesite of former Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki and lay a wreath on behalf of the American people. I was struck by how much has changed in just one generation, and how much of that change was possible because of the vision of this extraordinary man. Prime Minister Mazowiecki was a devoted advocate for freedom and human rights and democracy. His legacy continues to inspire today.

The Polish people know what it means to stand up to tyranny. Poland’s story of triumph since the fall of communism inspires advocates of freedom around the world. You have shown what is possible when people are allowed to embrace and define their own futures.

The United States commends your support for civil societies from Eastern Europe to North Africa, including the people of Ukraine as they proceed with constitutional reform and elections. We value our extensive security relationship as NATO allies. Our troops are proud to serve alongside Polish soldiers in Afghanistan and we honor their shared sacrifice. Last summer, our two countries launched an innovation program that will benefit both of our economies by tapping the creativity of our nations’ researchers, entrepreneurs, innovators, financiers, and educators.

As you celebrate Constitution Day, the United States stands with you as we work together toward a free, prosperous, and democratic world.