Out of the tragic plane crash that took the lives of the president and first lady of Poland and many other Polish officials, Poland will emerge stronger and more united as a nation and a people.
Nations that suffer the loss of leaders either by sudden accident or intentional acts need to mourn publicly and openly.
When America, in our most recent history, lost President Kennedy at the hands of an assassin, America mourned together. It did not matter if you were a Republican, or a Democrat, it did not matter the color of your skin, or the God you worshipped, we grieved together as Americans. Out of tragedy, America was strengthened.
When President Reagan passed away, our nation came together to celebrate the life of a popular president. Again, it did not matter who you were, or what your were, we all had one thing in common above all other. And we came together as Americans. It was amazing to see the outpouring of love, affection and respect for our former leader and our system of government.
It is cathartic for a nation to mourn. Out of the mourning process, citizens emerge stronger and more dedicated to each other and to their country.
Whether the mourning involves a sudden and unexpected loss or celebrates the passing of a former beloved leader, it is important for the life and well-being of a nation to go through the mourning process in a solemn, inclusive and dignified manner.
The pomp and circumstance that surrounds the funeral rites and mourning period is very important and necessary. And the rites of passage are just as important beyond Poland’s borders as they are within the country. Leaders will come from all over the world on Sunday to show their respect at the state funeral and Polish citizens will travel for days to stand in lines for hours just to participate in their country's official events. Parents will take their children, veterans will don their hats and medals, schools will create unique programs, newspapers will have special editions and television coverage will feature exclusive coverage of the ceremonies.
Polish communities in America and elsewhere will mourn in solidarity.
Poles will long remember this time, because it is now an integral part of their nation's history.
Now is the time for America to stand with our friend Poland in its time of need and to let the people of Poland know that America shares their sorrow and treasures their friendship.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to the Fox Forum.
Former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush