Category Archives: warsaw uprising

Politics and Pickles


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Two kinds of people in the world?

Vacation time makes you relax…think about the world, your surroundings, how others live, and how those before them survived.  So as I am enjoying mussel night in Warsaw (seriously, it’s on Thursday), I can’t help but think about the types of people in the world.

My mom loves mussels – it is her favorite dish.  I like them fine but I don’t like to get messy so my strategy is to schuck?/peel?/de-cant?  I don’t know what the word is – but essentially, get the mussel – all of them – out of the shell before consuming and thereby, create some sort of mussel soup.  Then I can wash my hands and enjoy.  On the other hand, my mom likes to leisurely enjoy each mussel, using her eccentric Italian hands to tell her stories, and dropping each shell one by one into a separate bowl over time.

We both savor our mussels – just in different means to the end.

mom with mussels

which brings me to the the Warsaw Uprising.  But I see it listed in the museum guide as Warsaw Rising Museum.  Does one person see the Warsaw Uprising as a singular event that marks a difficult period of time? Or sees it as an Uprising –  a continuous philosophy of progress for Warsaw and the nation, as a whole?

Or how about the half-moon that we saw in the sky tonight as we sauntered home….or was it a pierogi that hung in the black borscht bowl of atmosphere?

there is a pierogi in the sky

Contemplating the meaning of life in the piazza...oops, I mean square (rynek)

Either way, vacation has a way of nudging your mind to process life a little differently.  Or with a new perspective.  With a new appreciation.  And, in the end, isn’t that why we travel?   We are grateful as we process God’s amazing creations all in new ways.  Enjoy!

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Paying homage to the Polish Military

This morning we learned about the Polish military and Katyn and visited the Field Cathedral of the Polish Army, (also known as the Church of Our Lady Queen of the Polish Crown) which came about through the Military Ordinariate of Poland.

Inside the church there are medals and plaques and statues all dedicated to the military who perished at war.

The main altar contains a sculpture of the patron saint of the church, Our Lady Queen of the Polish Crown. Beneath the sculpture there is a steel grating with hundreds of military decorations and votive plaques donated by the soldiers. To the left there is a small Chapel of the Polish Soldier – a Mausoleum of the Defenders of the Motherland. Among the battles featured on stone slabs there are the battle of Cedynia, battle of Grunwald, battle of Vienna, battle of Westerplatte, defence of Warsaw, Warsaw Uprising and the battle of Berlin, as well as other battles of World War II. A chapel to the right of the altar is devoted to the victims of the Katyn massacre. Approximately 15,000 small tablets mark the names of the Polish officers mass murdered by the NKVD in 1940, while additional 7000 wait for the names of those, whose bodies are yet to be found.

And down the stairs is the museum and shrine to those clergy who died.  Noting that my dad speaks Polish and that we were very interested in the subject matter, the curator followed us around the exhibit interjecting some commentary.  My dad discussed old Polish war movies and my mom and I walked on.

We entered a room dedicated to the 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash which occurred on 10 April 2010, when an aircraft of the Polish Air Force crashed near the city of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 people on board. These included the Polish president Lech Kaczyński and his wife, the chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Poland’s deputy foreign minister, Polish government officials, 15 members of the Polish parliament, senior members of the Polish clergy, and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre. They were en route from Warsaw to attend an event marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre; the site is approximately 19 kilometres west of Smolensk.

Over 10 clergy members perished leaving behind in the rubble: rosaries, rings, glasses, prayer books, cloaks, etc.  all which we saw displayed in sand.  A chilling reminder and compelling exhibit.

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A Solemn Moment in Warsaw

by guest blogger, Rosemary (a.k.a. mom)

Just down the street from our flat is the the monument of Warsaw Uprising.  A powerful representation of the fortitude, firmness, and desire of the Polish Home Army to defend their City.

The recruitment for the Army includes youngstgers and their is a separate monument of a little boy with an oversized helmet holding a huge gun.  It is called the Isurgent Child – dedicated to those children who lost their lives during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.

The seige went on for 63 days until the army was miserably defeated.  After that block by block the old town was destroyed.  Amazingly now it is rebuilt, building by building.  Floor plans were followed, same materials used, etc.

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