Mr. Speaker, today is Polish Constitution Day, a day Polish people around the world celebrate with great parades and patriotic festivities. This year I feel it will also be a day of healing. It has not been a month since the death of Poland's late president, Lech Kaczynski, the first lady and 94 others killed in that tragic plane crash over Katyn.
It has not been uncommon through history to celebrate this day against aversion and hardship. The Polish Constitution, signed May 3, 1791, only lasted a year, when the Russo-Polish War of 1792 saw Poland partitioned by invading forces. And thus started the long, tumultuous history of Polish Constitution Day. Banned several times throughout history, Polish Constitution Day was restored as an official holiday in April 1990.
Poles have celebrated this day through centuries. It has served as a day of unity and healing across centuries, and it does so again today. I join with my fellow Polish Canadians in celebration, commemoration and remembrance. Today we proudly celebrate our strong heritage and commemorate and remember the many great men and women before us—