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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » March 18, 2009
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From the Editor-in-Chief
March 18, 2009   
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Some images are etched in our memory as signs of the times. Watershed generations carry them under their eyelids; others know them from photos and history lessons.

Every time we mention the end of the Stalinist era, we see Warsaw's Defilad Square in October 1956 filled with a crowd of half a million. When we recall the beginning of the end of communist Poland, we see Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa on the shoulders of shipyard workers, and soon after that Poland's first noncommunist prime minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki in the lower house of parliament holding out the fingers of both hands to form a "V" sign. Likewise Polish foreign minister Bronisław Geremek hugging his U.S. counterpart Madeleine Albright 10 years ago in the small U.S. town of Independence is a symbol of Poland regaining its sense of security as it joined NATO.

Today, 10 years on, when the Atlantic Alliance is in the throes of a debate on who should become its new secretary-general, we take part in it and in our mind's eye we see Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski, who is being tipped for the job; we see pride, prestige and the benefits of a Polish statesman becoming NATO chief. It would be a bad thing if we lost sight of the heart of the matter-the huge responsibility for creating a new alliance capable of coping with its future tasks as well as it dealt with its past challenges.
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