Tuesday, September 18, 2012

LEMIT Unites with Poland to Remember 9/11

A delegation from LEMIT poses with high-ranking Polish officials during the Homo Homini ceremony memorializing 9/11 in Poland. A delegation from LEMIT poses with high-ranking Polish officials during the Homo Homini ceremony memorializing 9/11 in Poland.

For the third year in a row, representatives from the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) participated in a ceremony in the city of Kielce, at Homo Homini, the Polish memorial to 9/11, which has come to symbolize the fight against terrorism around the world.

The LEMIT delegation, which included graduates of its Leadership Command College and staff, joined top-ranking Polish officials and the US consul general to Poland in remembering the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001. The day is memorialized in “Homo Homini,” which depicts two towers sliced by a plane. Over the years, plaques from other major terrorist attacks from around the world, including Moscow, Madrid, Jerusalem, London, Beslan, Bali, Grozny, Bombai, Istanbul, Sri Lanka, Sharm El Sheik, and Utoi have been added to “Homo Homini”.

“We put a wreath from Sam Houston State University, LEMIT, and law enforcement in Texas at the monument,” said Magdalena Denham, director of International Police Programs at LEMIT. “It was extremely moving… It was solidarity in hope that terrorism should not form in any state and that we will never have to add another plaque again. ”

The delegation was part of LEMIT’s International Police Program (IPP), an effort for Texas law enforcement agencies to learn and share best policing practices around the world. The delegation, which included Captains Cris and Laura Andersen of the San Antonio Police Department, Michael Dirden, Executive Assistant Chief in Houston, Chief Nancy Juvrud of the Calvert City Police Department, and Lieutenant Commander David McGinty of the Arlington Police Department participated in a two-week tour of Polish National Police agencies throughout Poland. The official visit was carefully coordinated to conclude in the Swietokrzyski state, in Kielce at Homo Homini on 9/11.

The ceremony was attended by high ranking officials from the state and city governments, Polish National Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services in Poland and Kielce, the host city. Among participants of the ceremony were the Kielce City President Wojciech Lubawski, Kielce (Swietokrzyski) state Governor Bozentyna Palka-Koruba, US Consul General Ellen Germain, Commander-in-Chief of the Polish National Police General Marek Dzialoszynski, Kielce (Swietokrzyski) state Commander of Polish National Police Jaroslaw Szymczyk, Commander-in Chief T. Kwiatkowski of the Polish Fire Services, and Kielce City Police Chief Robert Szydlo.

The architects and supporters of the monument intended not only to commemorate the victims of terror worldwide but to caution and protest against actions rooted in prejudice, xenophobia, and assumptions of cultural superiority. The inscription on the Homo Homini monument is to encourage reflection and provide a memento from a land afflicted by totalitarian ideologies of Fascism and Stalinism, from a region which has itself been marked with very dramatic events. The Homo Homini slogan carried hope and faith that humans do not have to be hostile to each other. As part of the solemn ceremony, the honor guard of the Polish National Police raised their bayonettes as the Polish National Police band played the US and the Polish musical tones for a minute of silence.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Polish National Police expressed that Poland, a country with turbulent history and a long track of fighting for freedom, understood perfectly the pain of the United States and other nations that lost their citizens and responders to terror. The delegation of Texas police officers and SHSU/LEMIT representative shared their remarks about peace, safety, and democratic policing with the attendees of the ceremony during an official lunch hosted by the city and the state.