The Institute of National Remembrance handed the “Semper Fidelis” awards for the first time to people and institutions, which particularly helped to preserve the Polish heritage in the Borderlands. The Borderlands are eastern parts of Poland which were taken away by the Soviet Union following the Yalta conference in 1945. Among those awarded were priest Roman Dzwonkowski, sociologist and professor of social sciences; the president of the Association of Home Army soldiers in Belarus, Col. Weronika Sebastianowicz; and the Commander of the Polish Scouts in Ukraine and Lithuania, Stefan Adamski.
DR JAROSŁAW SZAREK, PRESIDENT OF THE INSTITUTE OF NATIONAL REMEMBRANCE: – “How much of the Borderlands is within us? How many little stories, which we learn about if not by family, than by touching on the culture of these lands. We’re not doing this to oppose anyone else but we want these traditions preserved and this culture to be accessible to those who currently live there.”
COL. WERONIKA SEBASTIANOWICZ, PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF HOME ARMY SOLDIERS IN BELARUS: -“We fought in different times, but we all fought for Poland. I’m very happy that I was given this award, because when I was in prison or sent to Siberia, I never thought I would make it out of there alive. I would never dream of coming back home, to Poland, not to mention receiving an award like this.”