ZAGAN, Poland — Soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, out of Fort Hood joined Polish military service members and civilians for a wreath laying ceremony and an Independence Run Zagan 10k race Nov. 11.
The day marked the 101st anniversary of the end of World War I, which marks Polish Independence Day.
The holiday began with Poland military officials and citizens of Zagan attending mass before walking to the park where the wreath laying ceremony would take place. Col. Jeremy Wilson, commander of the 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div., and Command Sgt. Maj. Alexander Yazzie, command sergeant major of the 2nd BCT, joined the Polish military officials and citizens for the wreath laying ceremony in which flowers were laid at the monument of Siberian victims. A solemn roll call was also held in remembrance.
Afterward, many service members and citizens participated in Independence Run Zagan, a 10k running competition, beginning at Kochanowskiego Street.
Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Graves, a senior paralegal with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BCT, decided to get involved out of respect for the country in which so many American Soldiers are currently deployed.
“The Polish have been great, and I’ve been slowly picking up some phrases. They’re really nice people and have welcomed us in with open arms,” Graves said.
Other Soldiers were first time participants in a long distance race.
“I’ve never run a 10k in my life … I’ve got some battle buddies out here to assist. We’ll coach each other and push each other along and hopefully, we can all finish,” Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Lazzari, said.
The race was 10 kilometers or 6.2 miles. Each of the participating Soldiers managed to complete it, and received a medal adorned with red and white Polish colors in commemoration.
American Soldiers showing support of the Polish military and participating in local community events like this is one way of expressing gratitude toward the many European host countries as Atlantic Resolve missions move forward.