Poland's brave sign of unity
The Poles, in calling for unity, achieved unity. By hanging on to the mood of national cooperation displayed in ceremonies this week, Poland can not only forestall Soviet interventtion but speed economic recovery.
The key to continuing internal peace lies in ensuring that hard-won promises of reform are not reversed, as in the past, but maintained and expanded. The workers who bravely came back from such reverses to try again this year are not likely to accept regression as the price of unity. The triumphant Solidarity coalition led by Lech Walesa has already served notice it will support the private farmers who have organized to seek recognition as an independent union also.
But Mr. Walesa seems to see that a time for consolidation has come. he tells reporters: "We have not achieved many things yet, and we would have to strike every day to achieve them." However, he realizes that sucha an approach could now alienate the public. He says that, instead, Solidarity leaders will try to resolve issues through negotiation.
This would be in keeping with the unity theme expressed before hundres of thousands of Poles at this week's momorail services. While references was made to Poles fallen inearlier history, the focus was on the workers killed by soldiers in the 1970 riots. AS recently as last year, to honor them was regarded, in communist jargon, as a provocative act. Now labor leaders were on the same platform with authorities of the communist government and the Roman Catholic Church as a huge monument to the slain was unveiled in Gdansk and a smaller one in Gdynia.
Reconciliation, responsibility, order, "love over hate." These were among the goals pleaded for -- and manifested -- under the roof of what a party official strikingly called "the common house of Poland." He declared that the lessons of the past had been learned, and thus the turbelence of August could end with a agreements rather than blood.
There will be more lessons as Poland picks its way toward a future different from the past. There is profound hope in a prospect of united Poles learning them together.