It has been 70 years since Germany launched the offensive against Poland by sending the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein to shell the tiny Polish military outpost which housed the navy arsenal.

For the anniversary of the start of World War II former allies and former enemies met together, in an effort to remember the bloodiest conflict in the 20th century.  History cannot be repeated if it is remembered. Poland’s Prime Minister remarked at the ceremony that “We should examine everything which ended up bringing about the tragedy of Sept. 1, 1939.”

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stood next to Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.  The two countries have not had close relations since the Russians sided with Nazi Germany to take Poland over.  Within one month of the initial attack, Poland was overwhelmed by the Nazi attack from the west, and the Soviet Union’s attack from the east.

At the beginning of the war, Russia and Germany were strong allies but that changed later on in the war when Germany tried to take over Russia.  That was the end of that alliance.  At the ceremony Putin tried to focus on the fact that Russia played an integral role in ending the war, rather than on the fact that they initially sided with Germany and attacked Poland.

Even though this was only a five year war, which really isn’t that long when you think about, it was the bloodiest.  There were so many countries that became involved, that it could not have been anything short of a blood bath.  Over 50 million people were slaughtered during the war that engulfed Europe.  Poland alone lost 6 million citizens, half of which were Jews.  So 50 percent of the Jews that were exterminated during the holocaust were Poles.

During his speech, Poland’s P.M. Tusk warned about the dangers of forgetting the war’s lessons.  “We meet here to remember this, because we Poles know that, without this memory – honest memory about the truth, about the sources of World War II – Poland, Europe and the world will not be safe.”

This anniversary was attended by famous world leaders.  Leaders at the ceremony represented the countries that played key roles in the war. These attendants included Poland’s P.M. Tusk and Russia’s P.M. Putin, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French Premier Francois Fillon, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, and America’s National Security Adviser James Jones.

President Obama was not at the ceremony but remarked that Poland is a NATO member and as such – if there is an attack on one there is an attack on all.  He also sent a message which remarked that “The United States and Poland are close allies, partners in meeting global challenges to our security and prosperity, and in supporting fundamental human rights around the world.”

The fact that President Obama sent someone so far down the hierarchy line as James Jones; made Poles question how close the ties between the U.S. and Poland really are.  Poland has been a strong ally and even supported us in the War with Iraq and yet we can’t even send a real diplomat to this ceremony, is ridiculous.

There were important government leaders there that we could have worked on building our alliances with; yet our American leaders decided it wasn’t worth our time and effort to send someone to the ceremony that was really important.  This really made America look cocky and out of touch.

This was a huge event in not only our history but the history of the world and we sent the national security advisor to meet with these prime ministers and other important figures.  That’s a great tactic to build our foreign relations.

However, it may be a good thing because the last time President Obama met with world leaders on his European tour earlier this year, he said in his speech that “In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”

It’s unfortunate but President Obama just proved his own point.  He showed arrogance by not making this a priority and by sending his National Security Advisor to cover for him.  This proved that he Europe and our relationship with them isn’t a top priority.

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