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As a preface to summarizing the Conference and the following day's Kosciuszko commemoration ceremony, please note the following:

The Association's 16th Annual Tadeusz Kosciuszko Conference featured an outstanding panel and audience of American, Polish and Lithuanian scholars, both military and civilian, who broadened the understanding of 21st century challenges facing NATO with regard to confronting the ever-aggresive and expansionist Russian Federation which has adapted strategies once employed by 18th, 19th and early 20th century Russian Czars to divide, weaken and ultimately destroy the unity of European Union, NATO and the West, including the United States. Needless to say, Kosciuszko was very familiar with Russia's stance vis-a-vis the West in his lifetime.

Indeed, in his opus La Russe en 1839 (Russia in 1839), the Marquis de Custine (1790-1857) who traveled extensively throughout Russia, wrote that "Russia sees in Europe a prey which our dissensions will sooner or later yield to it; she foments anarchy among us in the hope of profiting by a corruption which she favors because it is favorable to her views: it is the history ot Poland  recommencing on a parger scale. For many years past Paris has read revolutionary journals paid by Russia. 'Europe,' they say at Petersburg, 'is following the road that Poland took; she is enervating herself by a vain liberalism, whilst we continue powerful precisely because we are not free: let us be patient under the yoke; others shall some day pay for our shame."

Nicholas I had reigned as Russia's Czar from 1825 to 1855. As such, he had been in power when Poland rose up in its great November 1830 Revolution. On April 25, 1849, he issued one of his many ukases by which he exhibited his perspective on the matter of the West and Poland as follows: "By the Grace of God, We, Nicholas I, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, etc., declare to the nation, having by our manifesto of March 1848, informed our subjects of the miseries which inflicted Western Europe, we are at the same time ready to meet our enemies wherever thay may show themselves, and that we should, without sparing ourselves, in conjunction with our sacred Russia, defend the honor of the Russian name, and the inviolability of our frontiers. The commotions and rebellions of the West have not since then ceased. Guilty delusion, enticing the thoughtless crowd with visionary dreams of that prosperity which can never be the fruit of willfulness and obstinacy, has entered the East and the dominions contiguous to us, [and] subjects of the Turkish Empire, viz: Moldavia and Wallachia. Only by the presence of our troops, together with those of Turkey, has order been restored and maintained; but in Hungary and Transylvania the efforts of the Austrian Government, distracted already by another war with foreign and domestic enemies in Italy, have not been able to triumph over rebellion. On the contrary, strengthening itself by hordes of our Polish traitors of 1831, and by other foreigners, outcasts, runaways, and vagrants, the rebellion has developed itself to a most threatening degree. In the midst of these unfortunate events the Emperor of Austria has addressed himself to us with the wish for our assistance against uur common enemies. We shall not refuse him. Having called to the assistance of this righteous enterprise, the Almighty Leader and Lord of Victories, we have commanded our armies to move forward for the extinction of the rebellion, and the destruction of audacious and evil-intentiomed men, who endeavor to to disturb the peace of our dominions also. Let God be with us, and who shall be against us?"   

Fast forward to 2012, and a statement made by Vladimir Putin, as was reported from Moscow in The Telegraph by British corresponent Tom Parfitt, on August 12: "Mr. Putin invoked the battle [of Borodino in 1812] in a campaign speech in February which displayed his classic rhetoric about Russia being surrounded by malignant enemies who sponsor internal dissent.  'The battle of Russia continues, the victory will be ours,' he told supporters at a Moscow stadium. 'We will not allow anyone to impose their will on us. We have our own will and this has always helped us to be victorious.' He added: 'We are a victorious nation. This is in our genes. This is in our genetic code. This gets passed from generation to generation'."

In the matter of Russia and the West, "the more things change, the more they remain the same," as the expression goes.  


On the morning and entire day of heavy cold rain in the Hudson River Valley, President and Founder Anthony J. Bajdek welcomed the 72 conferees -- the largest number ever for an AAFKWP Annual Tadeusz Kosciuszko Conference -- and addressed the matter of "Illuminating the Past and Present as Preparation for the Future" as it pertained to the topics to be expanded by each of the day's panelists.

Representing the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point had been United States Army Brigadier General and USMA Class of 1982 graduate, Cindy Jebb, Ph.D., serving as the Academy's 14th Dean of the Academic Board, who welcomed conferees to West Point, and whose uniform of the day indicated that she most likely had field commitments despite the highly inclement weather.

Brigadier General Cindy Jebb, Ph.D., welcomed conferees to West Point for the 16th Annual Tadeusz Kosciuszko Conference in the Esenhower Room of the Thayer Hotel overlooking the Hudson River..

The keynote speaker for the Conference, as he appears below, had been Lieutenant General (U. S. Army ret.), Frederick "Ben" Hodges, who had served as Commander of United States Army Europe.

A Class of 1980 graduate of the United States Military Academy, General Hodges spoke about the NATO Alliance in its 70th year, its national perspectives and of the immensity of its task at hand to sustain peace in Europe and the world as it confronts an aggressive and expansive Russian Federation on one hand, and an American Administration that precipitates discord among its European allies, on the other hand. As a measure of the high esteem in which General Hodges is held nationally, he currently serves as the Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, DC.

In commemorating Poland's 20th anniversary year of NATO accession, and representing the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, Colonel Pawel Marzeda, the Deputy Defense and Air Attache, addressed the topic of Poland's current security policy and perspective on NATO. 

Colonel Pawel Marzeda, Republic of Poland Deputy Defense and Air Attache.

In commemorating Lithuania's 15th anniversary year of NATO accession, and representing the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania, Colonel Alvydas Siuparis, the Defense Attache, addressed Lithuania's current security policy and perspective on NATO. 

Colonel Alvydas Siuparis, Republic of Lithuania Defense Attache.

On the right below, the next speaker had been Carol Lasata Gargan, Ph.D., primary activist for the Kosciuska Healing Garden in Scranton, Pennsylvania, public school system educator, and Vice President of the American Association of the friends of Kosciuszko at West Point. She addressed the topic, "Honoring Robert Barzoliski: 2 Citizen Soldiers, 2 Continents, 2 Centuries, 2 Gardens, 1 Mission, 1 World." 

AAFKWP Vice President Carol Lasata Gargan, Ph.D.

On the left below, next to speak had been Stephen N. Olejasz, a Founding Executive Vice President of the American Association of the Friends of Kosciuszko at West Point, a U. S. Army Lieutenant Colonel (ret.), a Formenr Assistant Professor of History at the United States Military Academy, and a West Point graduate. The title of his presentation had been, "Honoring the Service of John Kronkaitis, American and Lithuanian Patriot."   

AAFKWP Founding Executive Vice President Stephen N.Olejasz.

Below on the right is New Hampshire resident, Alan Hoffman, JD, Lynch, Fink, Labelle, LLP, Boston; President of the Massachusetts Lafayette Society, and President of the American Friends of Lafayette, who spoke on the subject, "Lafayette, Human Rights and the Polish Revolution of 1830." 

Alan Hoffman, Esq., President, Massachusetts Lafayette Society, and President, American Friends of Lafayette.

On the left below, Norman Kelker, Ph.D., Retired Research Scientist, New York University School of Medicine; and Independent Historian, spole on the subject, Herbert Hoover: the Man Who Fed Poland."

Dr. Norman Kelker, Independent Historian.
Among the notable guests for the Conference had been, from left to right in the photo on the immediate right...

Republic of Poland Brigadier General Dariusz Skorupka, D.Sc., Rector-Commandant of the Gen. Tadeusz Kosciuszko Military University of Land Forces in Wroclaw; New York City Polonia activist and Editor of the Zascianek Polish Manor House publication, Zenobia Zielinska; the Honorable Republic of Poland Senator, State Secretary, Plenipotentiary for International Dialogue with the Rank of Secretary of State on the staff of the Prime Minister's office, Anna Maria Anders; and AAFKWP President / Founder, Anthony J. Bajdek.

Following the Annual Mass in the Cadet Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity on Saturday, April 27, 2019, a Polish Army hero of World War II was honored with an Honor Guard...

Captain Bogdan Horoszowski of Poland's Army, known in World War II combat as Komar (Mosquito), a much decorated officer, stands amidst the Liga Morska (Sea League of America) color guard that performs loyal service at the Annual 'Kosciuszko Day' ceremony in front of the Kosciuszko Monument. 

Speaking on behalf of the United States representing the first NATO country participating in the Annual Kosciuszko Monument ceremony had been...

United States Army Lieutenant General (ret.) Frederick "Ben" Hodges, the Pershing Chair of the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, DC.

Speaking on behalf of Lithuania representing the second NATO country participating in the Annual Kosciuszko Monument ceremony had been...

Lithuania's Vice-Minister of National Defense Giedrimas Jeglinskas, who graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with the Class oof 2003.

Speaking on behalf of Poland representing the third NATO country participating in the Annual Kosciuszko Monument ceremony had been...

Major General Cezary Wisniewski, Republic of Poland Air Force; and Defense Attache, Polish Embassy, Washington, DC.