General Roger A. Brady, Commander, Allied Air Command Ramstein, dedicated a memorial on September 8 to the late Commander of the Polish Air Force, General Andrzej Błasik, who died in the April 10 Smolensk plane crash en route to attend the Katyn commemoration.
The ceremony was held at the Headquarters Allied Air Command Ramstein and attended by General Błasik’s widow, Mrs. Ewa Błasik, their two children, Joanna and Michał, as well as by several high ranking military leaders and representatives of the U.S. and Polish Air Forces.
General Brady dedicated an oak tree – a symbol of strength in Poland – to General Błasik, planted in the premises of HQ AC Ramstein. Together with Mrs. Błasik, General Brady then unveiled a bronze plaque reading:
IN MEMORY OF GEN ANDRZEJ BŁASIK
Commander, Polish Air Force, 19 April 2007 – 10 April 2010
“A jeśli komu droga otwarta do nieba, Tym co służą ojczyźnie” (Jan Kochanowski)
(“The door is open to heaven, for those who serve the fatherland”)
The oak tree and the plaque will from now on honor the virtue of General Błasik and his contributions to the NATO alliance.
Speaking at the ceremony, General Brady said, “I truly appreciated the determination of General Błasik as he was a faithful friend and true ally in our efforts to advance Air Power for NATO. The relationships he forged throughout NATO, and especially the United States Air Force, continue to bear fruit for the Alliance and for our nations.”
The Air Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Col. Mary Peterson, said, “General Blasik will be missed by all who knew him. He had a positive impact on his own air force, and on U.S. and NATO air forces. A living memorial on the ground’s on NATO’s Air Component at Ramstein is a fitting tribute to someone whose legacy will also live on. Future generations of airmen from across Europe will pass by this beautiful memorial and pause to remember him and the proud Polish Air Force he represented.”