Monday, April 26, 2010


If it weren’t for the plane crash which killed the president of Poland along with 96 other national leaders, I don’t think that the story of the Katyn massacre would have been in the news media in the U.S. at all.

Buffalo, along with Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, Jersey City and Toronto, has a memorial plaque commemorating the 22,000 people killed in the Katyn forest in Russia. Yesterday a re-dedication ceremony was held at city hall marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre and a memoriam for all those Poles who died in the plane crash two weeks ago.

I was there and went to the Oscar-nominated movie Katyn, that was shown afterwards at the Arcade theater.

I remember vaguely hearing about this tragedy when I was younger - but when you are young, things like this just aren’t interesting.  As I get older, I understand more and more how important – and horrifying - events like this are in the grand scheme of things.

The movie explained the whole story to me, but what I found infinitely more interesting was the Q&A that was held afterwards.  Councilman Joe Golombek - along with someone else whose name I can’t remember – stayed after the movie and answered questions about the movie and massacre from people in the audience.

There were people that attended the movie that were living in Poland at the time and they shared with us what happened in their lives at the time.  I wish that there had been more time for more stories and questions, but there was another movie showing, so we had to leave after about half hour or forty-five minutes.

Emotional is probably the biggest adjective I could use to describe how I felt afterwards.

I have more of an appreciation of how important it is for a country to have a strong military to protect its citizens.  I think that it is good for the United States to be a friendly country, but I want every other country to be afraid of us too.  I don’t want to ever have to live through what those people had to live through back then.

The thought of living in fear that someone from another country could just take you or your family from your home and kill you for no reason scares the crap out of me.  I never would have had thoughts like that cross my mind before – I’m an American, after all.  But frankly, with Obama in office and the way he’s making a mess of everything… I’m getting kind of worried.  I’m praying that someone else will get into office before he does too much more damage. 

Rich Kellman did a piece about Katyn on Channel 2 news last night.  I can’t embed the video, but here is a link to it.

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