And we want to develop our strategy to partnership and friendship with the United States, which is connected with a very rich history but what is very important for our future.
We know enough to stand here in truth - facing pain, cry and suffering of those who were murdered here. Face to face with the victims' families who are here today. Before the judgment of our own conscience.
Following the Second World War, we are a country of one ethnicity. After the moving of the borders, after the tragedy of the Holocaust and the murder of Polish Jews, we don't have large minority groups.
We all live in a free Poland, and there would be no free Poland without you, Twenty-five years ago, I did not stand on the same side together with you, but today I have no doubts that it was your vision of Poland which led us in the right direction.
And I think to be in NATO for the countries of our region, it means more guarantees for us, it means more responsibility for our common security, but it means fulfillment of all standards of civilized world, like protection of human rights and democratic mechanisms.
We have become aware of the responsibility for our attitude towards the dark pages in our history. We have understood that bad service is done to the nation by those who are impelling to renounce that past.
Every man is responsible only for his own acts. The sons do not inherit the sins of the fathers. But can we say: that was long ago, they were different?
In my opinion, terrorism is a question which is not a short- term problem for all of us. It is a long-term fight. And NATO can play, and will play, a very crucial role in this struggle.
So I think that is from the European perspective, for the European future, this engagement can be one of the most important and effective decisions in the last 50 years maybe.
And still the time, especially in the economy, is very tough, very difficult. It's necessary to be active still, to work, to fight, to make our economy more competitive.
So I think that is one of the reasons we can face some regional problems, which are very difficult, very dramatic and is necessary to have instruments to solve these problems. NATO is such instrument.
My message to the Americans, to the American President, is that I am coming from Poland, which is in good shape; it is much different than ten years ago when last state visit from Poland was here in the United States.
So I think that I can say, as the President of Poland, we're proud that I am coming from Poland, which is different and what's more important, much better than before.