I am UIC: Service, armistice and independence
November 11 was Veterans Day. On this day, we honor those who have served our country and made sacrifices to keep us safe. Abroad, the holiday is known as Armistice Day since the day commemorates the end of World War I, which occurred on Nov. 11, 1918. Thirty-two nations were involved in the conflict that resulted in the death of millions of military personnel and civilians. The holiday celebrates the peace that came from the end of the of the war. This year, the date had a special significance since it marked the 100th anniversary of the occasion. Many events, such as the ones organized by the UIC Honors College, were organized to celebrate this anniversary.
As a Polish person, this date has another significance for me, as well. Following the end of World War I, the Treaty of Versailles was created to finalize the end of the conflict. This treaty granted nine nations independence: Poland, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Austria, Finland, and Yugoslavia. In the year 1795, Poland lost its independence for the following 123 years; Polish people fought to take back their independence, which they finally succeeded in at the end of World War I. And so, this year also marks 100 years of Polish independence. The last century had its fair share of both struggles and triumphs for the country, but most importantly, Polish people today have a country they can call home and trace back their roots to. People both in Poland, as well as those living abroad, celebrated this anniversary with a variety of events. This is no exception in Chicago, which is home to the most Polish people living outside of Poland. Some of the events that the Polish community here hosted included film festivals, concerts, assemblies, and a 10k walk/run.
The date of Nov. 11 commemorates a day of peace and sacrifice, as well as a celebration of independence and pride for many cultures. With this year being the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I, let us be especially mindful of this fact.
Weronika Jozwiak is a sophomore in the Honors College majoring in English. She enjoys watching animated movies, puns and birdwatching. She is not quite sure what she wants to do in the future, but she hopes that she will be able to find fulfillment in the little things in life and will be able to drink tea to her heart’s content.