Obama Speaks At Poland Freedom Day- Full Speech


Hello, Warsaw! (Applause.) Witaj, Polsko!
(Applause.) Mr. President; Mr. Prime Minister; Madam Mayor;
heads of state and government, past and present — including the man who jumped that shipyard
wall to lead a strike that became a movement, the prisoner turned president who transformed
this nation — thank you, Lech Walesa, for your outstanding leadership. (Applause.) Distinguished guests, people of Poland, thank
you for your extraordinary welcome and for the privilege of joining you here today. I
bring with me the greetings and friendship of the American people — and of my hometown
of Chicago, home to so many proud Polish Americans. (Applause.) In Chicago, we think of ourselves
as a little piece of Poland. In some neighborhoods, you only hear Polish. The faithful come together
at churches like Saint Stanislaus Kostka. We have a parade for Polish Constitution Day.
And every summer, we celebrate the Taste of Polonia, with our kielbasa and pierogies,
and we’re all a little bit Polish for that day. (Applause.) So being here with you, it
feels like home. (Applause.) Twenty-five years ago today, we witnessed
a scene that had once seemed impossible — an election where, for the first time, the people
of this nation had a choice. The Communist regime thought an election would validate
their rule or weaken the opposition. Instead, Poles turned out in the millions. And when
the votes were counted, it was a landslide victory for freedom. One woman who voted that
day said, “There is a sense that something is beginning to happen in Poland. We feel
the taste of Poland again.” She was right. It was the beginning of the end of Communism
— not just in this country, but across Europe. The images of that year are seared in our
memory. Citizens filling the streets of Budapest and Bucharest. Hungarians and Austrians cutting
the barbed wire border. Protestors joining hands across the Baltics. Czechs and Slovaks
in their Velvet Revolution. East Berliners climbing atop that wall. And we have seen
the extraordinary progress since that time. A united Germany. Nations in Central and Eastern
Europe standing tall as proud democracies. A Europe that is more integrated, more prosperous
and more secure. We must never forget that the spark for so much of this revolutionary
change, this blossoming of hope, was lit by you, the people of Poland. (Applause.) History was made here. The victory of 1989
was not inevitable. It was the culmination of centuries of Polish struggle, at times
in this very square. The generations of Poles who rose up and finally won independence.
The soldiers who resisted invasion, from the east and the west. The Righteous Among the
Nations — among them Jan Karski — who risked all to save the innocent from the Holocaust.
The heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto who refused to go without a fight. The Free Poles at Normandy
and the Poles of the Home Army who — even as this city was reduced to rubble — waged
a heroic uprising. We remember how, when an Iron Curtain descended,
you never accepted your fate. When a son of Poland ascended to the Chair of Saint Peter,
he returned home, and here, in Warsaw, he inspired a nation with his words — “there
can be no just Europe without the independence of Poland.” (Applause.) And today we give
thanks for the courage of the Catholic Church and the fearless spirit of Saint John Paul
II. (Applause.) We also recall how you prevailed 25 years
ago. In the face of beatings and bullets, you never wavered from the moral force of
nonviolence. Through the darkness of martial law, Poles lit candles in their windows. When
the regime finally agreed to talk, you embraced dialogue. When they held those elections — even
though not fully free — you participated. As one Solidarity leader said at the time,
“We decided to accept what was possible.” Poland reminds us that sometimes the smallest
steps, however imperfect, can ultimately tear down walls, can ultimately transform the world.
(Applause.) But of course, your victory that June day
was only the beginning. For democracy is more than just elections. True democracy, real
prosperity, lasting security — these are neither simply given, nor imposed from the
outside. They must be earned and built from within. And in that age-old contest of ideas
— between freedom and authoritarianism, between liberty and oppression, between solidarity
and intolerance — Poland’s progress shows the enduring strength of the ideals that we
cherish as a free people. Here we see the strength of democracy: Citizens
raising their voices, free from fear. Here we see political parties competing in open
and honest elections. Here we see an independent judiciary working to uphold the rule of law.
Here in Poland we see a vibrant press and a growing civil society that holds leaders
accountable — because governments exist to lift up their people, not to hold them down.
(Applause.) Here we see the strength of free markets and
the results of hard reforms — gleaming skyscrapers soaring above the city, and superhighways
across this country, high-tech hubs and living standards that previous generations of Poles
could only imagine. This is the new Poland you have built — an economic “Miracle on
the Vistula” — Cud nad Wisłą. (Applause.) Here we see the strength of free nations that
stand united. Across those centuries of struggle, Poland’s fate too often was dictated by others.
This land was invaded and conquered, carved up and occupied. But those days are over.
Poland understands as few other nations do that every nation must be free to chart its
own course, to forge its own partnerships, to choose its own allies. (Applause.) This year marks the 15th anniversary of Poland’s
membership in NATO. We honor Polish service in the Balkans, in Iraq and Afghanistan. And
as Americans, we are proud to call Poland one of our strongest and closest allies. (Applause.) This is the Poland we celebrate today. The
free and democratic Poland that your forebears and some who are here today dreamed of and
fought for and, in some cases, died for. The growing and secure Poland that you — particularly
the young people who are here today — have enjoyed for your entire lives. It’s a wonderful story, but the story of this
nation reminds us that freedom is not guaranteed. And history cautions us to never take progress
for granted. On the same day 25 years ago that Poles were voting here, tanks were crushing
peaceful democracy protests in Tiananmen Square on the other side of the world. The blessings
of liberty must be earned and renewed by every generation — including our own. This is the
work to which we rededicate ourselves today. (Applause.) Our democracies must be defined not by what
or who we’re against, but by a politics of inclusion and tolerance that welcomes all
our citizens. Our economies must deliver a broader prosperity that creates more opportunity
— across Europe and across the world — especially for young people. Leaders must uphold the
public trust and stand against corruption, not steal from the pockets of their own people.
Our societies must embrace a greater justice that recognizes the inherent dignity of every
human being. And as we’ve been reminded by Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, our free nations
cannot be complacent in pursuit of the vision we share — a Europe that is whole and free
and at peace. We have to work for that. We have to stand with those who seek freedom.
(Applause.) I know that throughout history, the Polish
people were abandoned by friends when you needed them most. So I’ve come to Warsaw today
— on behalf of the United States, on behalf of the NATO Alliance — to reaffirm our unwavering
commitment to Poland’s security. Article 5 is clear — an attack on one is an attack
on all. And as allies, we have a solemn duty — a binding treaty obligation — to defend
your territorial integrity. And we will. We stand together — now and forever — for your
freedom is ours. (Applause.) Poland will never stand alone. (Applause.) But not just Poland
— Estonia will never stand alone. Latvia will never stand alone. Lithuania will never
stand alone. Romania will never stand alone. (Applause.) These are not just words. They’re unbreakable
commitments backed by the strongest alliance in the world and the armed forces of the United
States of America — the most powerful military in history. (Applause.) You see our commitment
today. In NATO aircraft in the skies of the Baltics. In allied ships patrolling the Black
Sea. In the stepped-up exercises where our forces train together. And in our increased
and enduring American presence here on Polish soil. We do these things not to threaten any
nation, but to defend the security and territory of ourselves and our friends. Yesterday, I announced a new initiative to
bolster the security of our NATO allies and increase America’s military presence in Europe.
With the support of Congress, this will mean more pre-positioned equipment to respond quickly
in a crisis, and exercises and training to keep our forces ready; additional U.S. forces
— in the air, and sea, and on land, including here in Poland. And it will mean increased
support to help friends like Ukraine, and Moldova and Georgia provide for their own
defense. (Applause.) Just as the United States is increasing our
commitment, so must others. Every NATO member is protected by our alliance, and every NATO
member must carry its share in our alliance. This is the responsibility we have to each
other. Finally, as free peoples, we join together,
not simply to safeguard our own security but to advance the freedom of others. Today we
affirm the principles for which we stand. We stand together because we believe that
people and nations have the right to determine their own destiny. And that includes the people
of Ukraine. Robbed by a corrupt regime, Ukrainians demanded a government that served them. Beaten
and bloodied, they refused to yield. Threatened and harassed, they lined up to vote; they
elected a new President in a free election — because a leader’s legitimacy can only
come from the consent of the people. Ukrainians have now embarked on the hard road
of reform. I met with President-elect Poroshenko this morning, and I told him that, just as
free nations offered support and assistance to Poland in your transition to democracy,
we stand with Ukrainians now. (Applause.) Ukraine must be free to choose its own future
for itself and by itself. (Applause.) We reject the zero-sum thinking of the past — a free
and independent Ukraine needs strong ties and growing trade with Europe and Russia and
the United States and the rest of the world. Because the people of Ukraine are reaching
out for the same freedom and opportunities and progress that we celebrate here today
— and they deserve them, too. We stand together because we believe that
upholding peace and security is the responsibility of every nation. The days of empire and spheres
of influence are over. Bigger nations must not be allowed to bully the small, or impose
their will at the barrel of a gun or with masked men taking over buildings. And the
stroke of a pen can never legitimize the theft of a neighbor’s land. So we will not accept
Russia’s occupation of Crimea or its violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. (Applause.) Our
free nations will stand united so that further Russian provocations will only mean more isolation
and costs for Russia. (Applause.) Because after investing so much blood and treasure
to bring Europe together, how can we allow the dark tactics of the 20th century to define
this new century? We stand together because we know that the
spirit of Warsaw and Budapest and Prague and Berlin stretches to wherever the longing for
freedom stirs in human hearts, whether in Minsk or Caracas, or Damascus or Pyongyang.
Wherever people are willing to do the hard work of building democracy — from Tbilisi
to Tunis, from Rangoon to Freetown — they will have a partner in our nations. For in
the struggles of these citizens we recall our own struggles. In their faces we see our
own. And few see this more clearly than the people of Poland. The Ukrainians of today are the heirs of Solidarity
— men and women like you who dared to challenge a bankrupt regime. When your peaceful protests
were met with an iron fist, Poles placed flowers in the shipyard gate. Today, Ukrainians honor their fallen with
flowers in Independence Square. We remember the Polish voter who rejoiced to “feel the
taste of Poland again.” Her voice echoes in the young protestor in the Maidan who savored
what she called “a taste of real freedom.” “I love my country,” she said, and we are
standing up for “justice and freedom.” And with gratitude for the strong support of the
Polish people, she spoke for many Ukrainians when she said, “Thank you, Poland. We hear
you and we love you.” (Applause.) Today we can say the same. Thank you, Poland
— thank you for your courage. Thank you for reminding the world that no matter how brutal
the crackdown, no matter how long the night, the yearning for liberty and dignity does
not fade away. It will never go away. Thank you, Poland, for your iron will and for showing
that, yes, ordinary citizens can grab the reins of history, and that freedom will prevail
— because, in the end, tanks and troops are no match for the force of our ideals. Thank you, Poland — for your triumph — not
of arms, but of the human spirit, the truth that carries us forward. There is no change
without risk, and no progress without sacrifice, and no freedom without solidarity. (Applause.) Dziękuję, Polsko! God bless Poland. (Applause.)
God bless America. God bless our unbreakable alliance. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

64 thoughts on “Obama Speaks At Poland Freedom Day- Full Speech

  • An excellent speech. Obama has very competent advisors. The speech had all the necessary ingredients. He thanked Lech Walesa, mentioned the late pope the saint and the church, Warsaw uprising, praised democracy and economic development, rebuked Russia for its aggression in the Crimea and promised to kick (presumably Russian) ass if anybody dares to touch Poland or her neighbours. Exactly what everyone needed to hear.

  • I wish the US their own little Maidan with a little bit of regime change and freedom and molotovs, and Texas declaring Texas People's Republic.

  • i am now convinced that Obama was kicked in the head by a donkey……. the US should let Ukraine vote for there future and stay away….. you will be remembered as the US 1st black president but you will also be remembered as a jackass

  • Historical speech for all Poles.
    I am surprised how strong american commitment is and how well written this speech was.More than we in Poland and Ukraine could hope for.

  • Unlike Russia,Poland at least acknowledges the contributions made by the US in saving Europe from total destruction from the Nazi Germany ! Thumps up for Obama for his excellent speech !

  • If the EU and it's drivers Merkel and Obama from overseas were to change their ignorant ways of politics, a lot of the current events may have been prevented. I'm so sick of the American leadership elite trying to convince the masses in EUROPE of our evil neighbour Russia. Ironically, Germany and Russia and Europe in general got along just along fine for a long time. Why is it that we have to fight Russia's drive to develop their economy further, speaking of natural resources, of course. Why? Persuit of happiness is not a EU or American priviledge, make no mistake in this… It's so cristal clear to see that America is simply afraid of the economic power to come from Russia, China etc, especially when they team up. But again, it's a global market and we cannot allow for the US to manipulate governments and therefore the people of Europe to excecute American interests over here. All that blathering referring to the past and bringing democracy. It's so unbecoming what we have to listen to here… Just words, but those words do not closely reflect the reality but unfortunately a great number of people will never understand how politics work… and that is exactly why this man eventually will succeed.

    Just sad… can t listen to this ignorant bs anymore…

  • Is he honest? I appreciate his commitment, but isn`t he flattering Poles in order to use us as a "cannon fodder"? Much has been said, but is the amount of cash he promised enough to fight against the russian malefactors? Why didn`t he visit Ukraine? If the US wants to help Ukraine, go to Ukraine, not incite Poles to fight against the bulk. Many countries were promissing alliance to Poland, but the history of our nation has shown, that these were just the empty phrases. We, Poles living between two assailants always have to cope on our own when the danger comes, and even this speech hasn`t convinced me that this is not the case. 

    I rarely get involved in politics, but now, as a Pole, I feel abused. 

  • Obama Lies right off by saying Chicago it is full of Polish People more like  Gangsters and Black thugs who are shooting each other everyday so where are the Polish People it is full of Blacks FKN Liar he is just hiding over there because America want's to string this POS up for the VA Scandal and many more this Man is a Liar do not listen to his shit

  • http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2014/june/04/us-turns-blind-eye-to-lugansk-massacre.aspx

  • President of Poland slept when the foreighner spoke. Greaaaaat speeeeeech.
    Same lies. Go on forgetting your nation, obey America, be happy! ))

  • I am from Cuba, Twenty Years later we still have not seen this moment of liberation, and I don't know if we will see it, it seems like we have just given up, and nobody from the outside cares about that small island that  still lives under a red communist boot, although it is our duty to care about this, nobody's else. It still feels very sad.
     Congratulations tho, or getting out of communism,

  • the smallest steps, however imperfect, can ultimately tear down walls, can ultimately transform the world

  • Well we hear what has been said, What we don’t hear apply to his mind; Does he mean all he has stated?
    You know words come easy a specially from politic like he is, but to determine what he means, or what is in reality behind these curtain from these words, we must pass this speech through defragmentation process; Then keeping coherent action based on perception, we must split all these issues where he is bind to definition of believes, and these where he is really thinking. You see hope, judgment are bonded by the definition of believe usually are expressed by politician for a purpose. But thoughts are en effect of full process of thinking with ability to create or bring an solution or conclusion. (a specially 7:50–8:06) He know that this is a lie;

  • This idiot came to Malaysia talk rubbish about equality as if we are the one bombing other countries and make our minorities poor, silly white people are duped that muslims in malaysia discriminate againts the minorities who in fact are the richest societies in our country and have all opportunities open to them except on issues relatng the privilieges of the indigenous people that are constitutional,nevertheless the minorities are free pursue economic gains and social progress unhindered. Cant say about the high unemployement among minorities in the West who are systematically discriminated with laws and human rights crap.

    Poland should not be duped into thinking that the EU and US have any good intentions, entry into EU will destroy Polish industry as Germany and Western europe will impose high standards that will naturally favor their products, enslave polish people to WestEurope companies and at the same time turn Poland into a buffer zone againts Russia, remember how the Uk abandoned Poland?

    Poland should remain unalligned and play pragmatic, it needs Russia and the EU but not through a dictatorship supranational organizations like the EU and NATO that have the record of invading other countries and intefering in the Arab Spring.

  • Well I can add something more, but instead I decide to quote my relative;

    “Obama did a really good job of imprinting certain brainwash illusions in the consciousness of the people who were desperate to believe. Alright. Because I noticed what was interesting, the phrase “Hope” or “Change” – Hope and you can believe in. You can believe it so you don’t have to think about it. You can hope for it so you don’t have to truly act. Alright. And the change… nothing changed. Alright. Skin color of the predator reptilian that is running the show, alright, that’s all that changed. (the party – Polish Government) But you get to the basic behavior pattern … nothing really changed.”

  • "-thank you Lech Walesa for your outstanding leadership" hahahahaha kurwa padlem na cycki….. kielbasa i pierogi… kiedy malpo wizy zniesiesz za te lata poddaniczej polityki zagranicznej? Pozdrawiam tych gimbow co tam klaszcza na widowni

  • Pięknie mówił^^ Naprawdę przekonał mnie, że Ameryka jest Naszym przyjacielem:] Bush Jr przy Nim to pipka 😛

  • BLA BLA BLAAAAAAA. Oh all ye people, don't be deceived… America never was committed to Poland and never will be. Poland has always survived on its own. LONG LIVE POLAND AND ITS IRON WILL! America is committed to Israel and only Israel… the illegal, apartheid, colonial state.

  • Lol  why the fuck Poland invites  him to us it makes  it just bad  for us  since we have to lick  Russians  ass no USA …  USA are doing shit    all they do is kill our  soldiers in Afghanistan  xD

  • Obama stated concentration camps WERE Polish and he never corrected this stupid statement. Yet the Polish people flock about the USA and even built a 911 memorial in Warsaw, yet there is not one momument to any Polish tragedy – not Katyn, not Polish people in Auscwitz. Polish long glorious history is never mentioned in the USA. This is a shame, the USA-Polish relationship is a secret, not to be talked about in the USA

  • I had just seen on the news, some footage of Obama shaking hands after some speech.  And the only time he smiles is when he pauses for a photo opportunity.  Does anybody know which speech that was?

  • huh! watched barry compared to TRUMP – dont hear ANYONE CHANTING BARRYS NAME OR USA!?! lol! wonder if msm going to show this contrast?? DOUBT IT! free thinkers in USA WILL SEE FOR THEMSELVES! #fakenews will NEVER WIN!

  • 12:40 "… Article 5 is clear, an attack on one is an attack on all and as allies we have a solemn duty, a binding treaty obligation to defend your territorial integrity and we will. We stand together now and forever. For your freedom is ours. Poland will never stand alone… these are not just words – they're unbreakable commitments…"

    In retrospect, those were just empty and hollow words. He never did anything about the Crimea invasion just a few months prior to that and he never did anything afterwards, either. The "red lines" in Syria and North Korea were not backed up.

    I like Trump's speech in Poland today way more. 🙂

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