Observations

By Michael A. Szymanski

As Polish Constitution Day, May 3rd, approaches, we have an article by Frank Dmuchowski discussing the significance of Poland’s constitution in the context of Human Rights. Frank points out the U. S. State Department’s report on Human Rights and quotes a relevant section of the Report on Poland. We are reminded again that the U.S constitution was the first (1789) and Poland’s was the second (1791). The proximity of these milestones of government once again reminds us of the close relationship between the two countries, and once again begs the question: why isn’t Poland included in the U.S. Visa Waiver program?
Among the news from Poland, I was fascinated to see that Google’s “Street view” search function has been updated to include Poland. It was exciting to dial up the application and go to the Krakow Sukiennice and view the historic tower of St. Mary’s Church where, according to legend, the famous trumpet call warning of a Mongol invasion was cut short in mid-note by a barbarian’s arrow in 1241. In my mind’s eye, I was returning to the past scenes of a cherished trip to Poland with my mother and my brother Frank. The news item focuses on the controversy over the invasion of privacy that some feel this type of software capability represents, but its availability is simply amazing. Give it a try and see for yourself. You can start with a satellite view of Poland and view almost anywhere in the country.
As always, much is going on at the Orchard Lakes Schools, and this issue we have reports on a piano recital that took place last Wednesday and featured (no surprise!) the music of Chopin, among others. JJ Przewozniak also reports on a commemorative ceremony on the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943, including the text of remarks made in Chicago by General Consul Paulina Kapuścińska. Whether you look to the past or the future, there is always something to think about.
Michael Szymanski

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