“Poland Is Not Yet Lost” is the title of the Polish national anthem — and today, this sad day that Poland’s president, his wife and dozens of Poland’s foremost civilian and military leaders died in an airplane crash in Russia that killed all 132 96 people on board, we grieve with the Polish people and pray that they are consoled in their grief, filled with faith in themselves and their future, and rich with great leaders who will come forward and brilliantly take up the posts of service that are now so suddenly and tragically vacant.
The Polish national anthem has been on my mind because I play bassoon in the Bel Air Community Band in Bel Air, Maryland, and on May 2 we will play a work by Patrick Burns entitled, “Anthem,” which is based on Poland’s national anthem. We commissioned it as a tribute to Raymond J. Dombrowski, who was the band director at Bel Air High School from 1953 to 1985 and my band director from 1967 to 1971 — I hope you will click that link to read what I wrote last year about Mr. D and the honors he received for his work on behalf of other U.S. military veterans and in the Polish-American community, which is strong and loved in Maryland because of the service of Casimir Pulaski during the American Revolution and for their devotion to the founding ideals of America.
Here is a video of one of the proudest moments in the life of Raymond J. Dombrowski, when he conducted the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra of Harford County and the Choir of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, The Paderewski Festival Chorus and the St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir in a performance of “Poland Is Not Yet Lost,” the Polish national anthem, and the “Star Spangled Banner,” America’s national anthem — which, I will remind you, also has a Maryland connection since it is based on the poem Francis Scott Key wrote after watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore:
Hot Air has a tribute to the late president of Poland, Lech Kacynski, with an explanation of what his loss means for the United States.
Prof. William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection discusses the loss of Poland’s leaders and the Katyn massacre of 22,000 Polish officers by the Soviets during World War II — they were on their way to an event marking its anniversary.
Michelle Malkin, who is a woman of far more compassion and great-heartedness than she ever gets credit for, has prayers for Poland.
Gateway Pundit has a round-up of the news coverage of the crash, including photos.
The Anchoress, bless her, has a list of all the passengers on board the plane, and other useful links.
My pal, Jimmy Bise, at The Sundries Shack, explains how America has lost a great friend.
Update, 4/13/2010, Tues.: Tammy Bruce points out the crucial role the Polish people played when the fate of Western civilization hung in the balance:
The world owes a debt of gratitude to Poland. Not only have they always been a remarkable people, but in the Battle of Vienna in 1683 it was Poland’s King Sobieski who pushed back the marauding Islamic hoards who were besieging Vienna. The Polish success at Vienna stopped the Islamists who otherwise would have likely taken the whole of Europe, ending civilization as we know it.
Wikipedia has the list of the names of everyone on board the fatal flight.