Mr. Mayor, Mr. First Secretary, and your distinguished colleagues in government, ladies and gentlemen:
It is a great experience and a wonderful opportunity for me to be in Krakow, and I thank you very, very much for the warm, warm welcome.
May I express my appreciation also for some of my good countrymen who are here, such as friends from home and elsewhere.
But after the wonderful warmth of the reception that you have given me, I know why millions and millions of Americans of Polish extraction are so very proud of their heritage from this great country.
This ancient square is surely one of the most beautiful in the world. It is filled with some of the finest creations of Polish architects and artists, with the memory of so many great moments in Polish history. Americans honor, of course, General Kosciuszko as a hero of America's war for independence and America's war for liberty.
I am standing only a very few feet from the plaque marking where he stood and took his famous oath to fight to regain the independence of Poland and the freedom of all Poles. I am proud--very, very proud--to be with you here at this place so rich in Polish history and so closely associated with a Polish hero of our struggle for independence.
I have come to Krakow to see both the monuments of your great past and your modern achievements. And I congratulate you for your creativity. I know also that you have a great university in your wonderful city, and I am delighted to see some of my friends from home here benefiting from the opportunities in this great university.
In this city, the ties of friendship are strong between our two countries. We welcome the rapid increase in trade between our two nations and the growing number of travelers in both directions. And I particularly welcome people from your country to come to America, particularly during our Bicentennial, which is our 200th anniversary in the United States.
In my first meetings in Washington with First Secretary Gierek and my meetings with Secretary Gierek here on this occasion, my visit to Poland, we have reviewed with great satisfaction and with great progress and great improvement the better relationships between the United States and Poland. And this improvement, this betterment, has expanded on a year-by-year basis, and I know that it will get better and better in the future.
Secretary Gierek and myself have fully agreed on the desirability of furthering the progress--this broad progress--for the mutual benefit of American and Polish peoples in the coming decades.
Your welcome here today in this great historic city and all of the heartwarming Polish hospitality, of which I have heard so much, are symbolic of the rapport and the deep affection between our peoples.
I have unlimited faith in a future that will see our relations continue to improve and to grow.
Niech zyje Polska! [Long live Poland !]