Today we had the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of Warsaw, Poland. At a chilly twenty degrees, it proved to be a challenge to stay warm; however, our numb hands and feet came second to the amazing history and architecture that comprises of Old Town Warsaw.
During our excursion, one part stood out to me the most. While getting off the city bus we stepped towards a public art exhibit. Located along a walkway leading towards Old Town, the exhibit showed pictures of the devastation that hit Warsaw during World War II. Buildings were demolished, public streets shredded, and the entire city looked as if a tornado headed straight for its path. The city of Warsaw undoubtedly went through great pain and loss as it clearly showed.
As I glanced upon the shocking photographs I noticed in the corners and finer points of the pictures things such as individuals walking to work, bricks neatly stacked multiple feet high, and big chunks of stone being hauled away by a horse. Thinking about it for a moment I came the conclusion that these finer points were the strongest examples of Poland’s endurance through adversity. Although being hit by mass destruction from an unforgiving German force, Poland continued on.
A quote that is near and dear to me was once said by famous Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi: “The greatest success is not in succeeding, but rising after you fall.” I am reminded of this quote because it sums up Poland’s post-war journey. As a country they found themselves fallen and bruised, yet through unity and dedication, rebuilt their city and most importantly their lives. And that- winning the piece-by-piece, brick by brick, inch-by-inch fight- is without a doubt the greatest success.