The ceremony was attended by the President of the Institute of National Remembrance, Dr Jarosław Szarek and the Deputy Presidents, Prof. Krzysztof Szwagrzyk and Dr Mateusz Szpytma.
As President Duda emphasised, in Poland ruled by the Soviet governors there was no place for the heroes who had fought for freedom and independence and gave their lives for their homeland.
“Over the past three years, more than 70 heroes have returned from “exile to nowhere”, from the valley of nothingness, in which the communists tried to keep them forever. They were buried in nameless pits, somewhere beneath the sidewalks or graves of meritorious founders of People's Poland. Memory about them was to be erased, so that Poland would never be Poland,” said Andrzej Duda about the identified victims of communist terror.
He noted that it would have not been possible to give Poland back its heroes without the committed work of the Institute of National Remembrance. “Today the heroes are returning. Through the great service for the Homeland, carried out by the Institute of National Remembrance and Prof. Krzysztof Szwagrzyk (Deputy President of the Institute and director of the IPN’s Office of Search and Identification), "enduring in respect of the enduring". Thanks to his colleagues and all those who volunteered over the years to help in this great work of restoring the good name of Poland and the dignity of our Homeland,” said the President. “It is not our heroes who regain their dignity today, it is Poland who regains dignity by giving them honor, which they have always owned” he said.
On 4 October 2018, at the Presidential Palace, identification notes were given to families of 21 victims of totalitarianism.
Thanks to the work of the Office of Search and Identification of the Institute of National Remembrance, 21 people who had been killed by totalitarian regimes have regained their names, military ranks and biographies. The following people have been identified: Ludwik Augustyniak, Zdzisław Bronski, Wiesław Budzik, Stanisław Dolewski, Adam Domalik, Józef Domański, Florian Dutkiewicz, Tadeusz Gajda, Stefan Górski, Władysław Guzdek, Jan Kwiczala, Tadeusz Leśnikowski, Stanisław Ludzia, Stanisław Marciniak, Adam Mirecki, Wincenty Niemkowicz, Tadeusz Ośko vel, Wojciech Kossowski, Jan Przybyłowski, Szczepan Ścibior, Antoni Wąsowicz, Tadeusz Zajączkowski.
Some of the victims died in the Mokotow prison in Warsaw, the remains of others - hunted down by the Security Service and sentenced by military courts - were found in Bydgoszcz, Katowice, Kraków, Lublin, Łódź, in Nowogród (Lublin Voivodship), in Rzędziany (Podlaskie Voivodship).
On 4 October 2018, at the Presidential Palace, the victims' families received the identification notes of their found relatives in the presence of President of Poland Andrzej Duda.