A COVID-19 Quieted 21st
BALTIMORE, Md. – For the second year in a row the Annual Katyń Remembrance here was drastically affected by government mandated quarantines and/or restrictions directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the National Katyń Memorial Foundation (NKMF) resolved to soldier on and undertake the 21st Annual Katyń Remembrance in adherence with the official federal, state and city mandates. And, unfortunately, absent again were the extensive ceremonies at the National Katyń Memorial site and the follow-up reception and dinner at the Polish National Alliance.
PHOTO: Call to Rest. “Taps” is sounded in honor of the Polish Martyrs of Katyń Forest by Steve Wojciechowski, Commander of the Polish Legion of American Veterans (PLAV), Department of Maryland, at Holy Rosary Church ceremonies.
One critical Remembrance component was maintained and allowably expanded: The 10:30 a.m. Katyń-Dedicated Mass at Holy Rosary R.C. Church. The Holy Eucharist was co-celebrated by the Reverend Ryszard Czerniak, Pastor, and Chaplin Adam Muda, Captain, United States Army. There were over 100 participants in attendance.
A truncated – but no less dignified – Katyń Remembrance Ceremony was conducted at the conclusion of the mass. A statement from Poland’s Ambassador Piotr Wilczek was read on his behalf by Richard Poremski, Poland’s Honorary Consul in Baltimore and Maryland. Then followed an address from Lieutenant Colonel Karol Budniak, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché, Embassy of Poland. The Polish patriotic poem “Katyń” (by Marian Hemar) was presented by sisters Sara and Kasia McDaniel, students from the Cardinal August Hlond Polish School. The obligatory Monsignor Zdzisław Peszkowski’s “Katyń Prayer” was read both in Polish and English by Krystyna Osowski and Adam Rybczynski, respectively. The sounding of “Taps” by Steve Wojciechowski, PLAV, concluded the ceremonies.
The NKMF eagerly anticipates that it will be allowed to resume its normal and full schedule next year with its celebration of the 22nd Annual Katyń Remembrance during April of 2022, in adherence to its established raison d’etre:
~ Cri de Coeur of the National Katyń Memorial Foundation ~
“SHOULD I FORGET THEM, MAY GOD IN HEAVEN FORGET ME”
You are cordially invited to view this year’s 21st Remembrance at www.KatynBaltimore.org, or on Facebook at facebook.com/katynbaltimore.
Text & Photos by
Richard P. Poremski
Polish American Journal
Washington, DC Bureau
June 9, 2021
Wreath Presentation. Chaplin Adam Muda, Captain, U.S. Army (left) and Lieutenant Colonel Karol Budniak, Assistant Defense and Air Attaché, Embassy of the Republic of Poland, are depicted presenting the official Remembrance Wreath at the National Katyń Memorial.