In his powerful speech in Warsaw Thursday, President Donald Trump assailed the secular left while praising Saint John Paul II as a “great hero” of the Polish nation, whose election as pope helped bring the communist system “crashing down.”
“Together, with Pope John Paul II, the Poles reasserted their identity as a nation devoted to God,” Trump said in his address, which was interrupted by frequent applause. Despite “every effort to transform you, oppress you, or destroy you, you endured and overcame,” he added.
“Poland is a land of great heroes,” Trump said, specifically mentioning Copernicus, Chopin, and Saint John Paul II. “And you are a people who know the true value of what you defend.”
Recounting some of Poland’s recent history, Trump recalled June 2, 1979, when “one million Poles gathered around Victory Square for their very first mass with their Polish Pope.”
On that day, he said, “Every communist in Warsaw must have known that their oppressive system would soon come crashing down.”
“They must have known it at the exact moment during Pope John Paul II’s sermon when a million Polish men, women, and children suddenly raised their voices in a single prayer.”
The president observed that what the Poles were asking for, atheistic communism could never give them, despite its promises.
“A million Polish people did not ask for wealth. They did not ask for privilege. Instead, one million Poles sang three simple words: ‘We Want God,’” he said.
“In those words, the Polish people recalled the promise of a better future,” Trump continued. “They found new courage to face down their oppressors, and they found the words to declare that Poland would be Poland once again.”
The president held up the Christian faith of the Polish people as their greatest strength and the source of its endurance. He also suggested that it is a strength shared by the United States and Europe as well.
“As I stand here today before this incredible crowd, this faithful nation, we can still hear those voices that echo through history,” he said. “Their message is as true today as ever. The people of Poland, the people of America, and the people of Europe still cry out, ‘We want God.’”
With that powerful declaration of who you are, “you came to understand what to do and how to live,” he said. “You stood in solidarity against oppression, against a lawless secret police, against a cruel and wicked system that impoverished your cities and your souls.”
“And you won. Poland prevailed. Poland will always prevail,” he said.
The strength of Poland’s Christian identity and undying faith, Trump suggested, provides a needed example for the rest of the world.
“And so I am here today not just to visit an old ally, but to hold it up as an example for others who seek freedom and who wish to summon the courage and the will to defend our civilization,” he said.
“The story of Poland is the story of a people who have never lost hope, who have never been broken, and who have never, ever forgotten who they are,” he said.
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