U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left foreground, shakes hands with Ryszard Schnepf, the Polish ambassador to the United States, as he arrives at Freedom Night, a celebration of Poland’s 223rd Constitution Day and the 25th anniversary of its transition to freedom and democracy, at the ambassador’s residence in Washington on May 21.
“We have more opportunities, more possibilities, more resources and more capacity to do more good for more people than any time in the history of the world — if we’re wise enough to use those resources with strong leadership,” Hagel said in a speech at the event. “The Polish contribution to this is not just about an anniversary date … and a 223-years living constitution, 25 years since free elections, and the 10-year anniversary of Poland’s entry into NATO. It’s more than that.”
It is “countries like Poland who understand the dark side of history as well as the bright side,” Hagel said, who “the world will look [to] for continued inspiration and leadership and guidance.”