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April 14, 2011

Remembering the 1-Year Anniversary of the 2010 Poland Presidential Plane Crash

[Page: S2457]  GPO's PDF 

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Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Foreign Relations Committee be discharged from further consideration and the Senate now proceed to S. Res. 135.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The clerk will report the title of the resolution.

The legislative clerk read as follows:

A resolution (S. Res. 135) remembering the 1-year anniversary of the April 10, 2010, plane crash that claimed the lives of the President of Poland Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and 94 others, while they were en route to memorialize those Polish officers, officials, and civilians who were massacred by the Soviet Union in 1940.

There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the resolution.

Mr. WHITEHOUSE. I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

The resolution (S. Res. 135) was agreed to.

The preamble was agreed to.

The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

S. Res. 135

Whereas, on April 10, 2010, the President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria, and a cadre of current and former Polish statesmen, military officers, family members, and others departed Warsaw by plane to travel to the Russian region of Smolensk;

Whereas the purpose of the delegation's visit was to hold a ceremony in solemn remembrance of the more than 22,000 Polish military officers, police officers, judges, other government officials, and civilians who were executed by the Soviet secret police, the ``NKVD'', between April 3 and the end of May 1940;

Whereas more than 14,500 Polish victims of such executions have been documented at 3 sites in Katyn (in present day Belarus), in Miednoye (in present day Russia), and in Kharkiv (in present day Ukraine), while the remains of an estimated 7,000 such Polish victims have yet to be precisely located;

Whereas the plane carrying the Polish delegation on April 10, 2010, crashed in Smolensk, tragically killing all 96 persons on board;

Whereas Poland has been a leading member of the transatlantic community and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an Alliance vital to the interests of the United States, and Poland's membership in the Alliance has strengthened NATO;

Whereas the Polish armed forces have stood shoulder-to-shoulder and sacrificed with airmen, marines, sailors, and soldiers of the United States in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and around the world;

Whereas Poland has been a leader in the promotion of human rights, not just in Central Europe, but elsewhere around the world; and

Whereas the deep friendship between the governments and people of Poland and the United States is grounded in our mutual respect, shared values, and common priorities on nuclear nonproliferation, counter ter rorism, human rights, regional cooperation in Eastern Europe, democratization, and international development: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate--

(1) remembers the terrible tragedy that took place on April 10, 2010, when an aircraft

[Page: S2458]  GPO's PDF
carrying a delegation of current and former Polish officials, family members, and others crashed en route from Warsaw to Smolensk to memorialize the 1940 Katyn massacres, killing all 96 passengers;

(2) honors the memories of all Poles executed by the NKVD at Katyn, Miednoye, Khakriv, and elsewhere and those who perished in the April 10, 2010, plane crash;

(3) expresses continuing sympathy for the surviving family members of those who perished in the tragic plane crash of April 10, 2010;

(4) recognizes and respects the resilience of Poland's constitution, as demonstrated by the smooth and stable transfer of constitutional authority that occurred in the immediate aftermath of the April 10, 2010, tragedy; and

(5) requests that the Secretary of the Senate transmit an enrolled copy of this resolution to the Ambassador of Poland to the United States.

(Senate - April 13, 2011)

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