One of the most amazing things about living in Europe is the history.
Unfortunately history isn’t always pleasant. Poland has been ravaged by war more than a few times. But something that touches Warsaw in particular is the Warsaw Uprising which started on August 1st 1944. For 63 days the Polish resistance fought with very little support from the outside world. The exact number of casualties is unknown even to this day, where it is estimated that 16 000 members of the Polish resistance and between 150 000 – 200 000 Polish civilians were killed. Many young people fought and headed this resistance. One of the consequences of the war was that Warsaw was 85% destroyed by 1945. (For more information about the Warsaw Uprising, I recommend the Warsaw Uprising museum)
I write about this today not to give everyone a history lesson but to tell you about what the city of Warsaw does. To commemorate this day every year on August 1st, Warsaw does something incredible, something that brings me to tears every time. The city at 5 pm on every August 1st stops and takes a minute to remember. Remember those lost. Remember the destruction. The sirens ring throughout the city. Traffic comes to a standstill. The city becomes quiet and everyone pays their respects. It is eerily beautiful and amazing.
For those of you who didn’t know I urge you to take a step outside, stand and take a minute at 5 pm on August 1st to remember.
For those of you who are not in Warsaw this is a video that showcases this…
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