Sep. 1, 1939 – much like the date of the Pearl Harbor attack, Dec. 7, 1941– is a day which will forever live in infamy.

On Sep. 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Less than two days later, when Hitler refused to abandon the mission and restore the Polish government, Britain and France declared war on Germany – marking the inception of World War II. Seemingly unaware of the historical significance of the occasion, President Donald Trump offered “congratulations” to Poland on Monday.

This week, solemn ceremonies across Poland marked the occasion. Crowds have gathered across the historical battlegrounds. “These [sites] included the Baltic port of Westerplatte near Gdansk, bombarded by German battleships in the war’s opening salvos. Crowds also gathered in the city of Wielun, which was razed by Nazi aircraft in what is considered among the first of a long list of Nazi war crimes in Poland,” reported Newsweek.

At an event in Warsaw attended by heads of state, the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier asked for forgiveness for German crimes, stating, his “nation would never forget the horrors of World War II.”

Trump was scheduled to attend the commemoration, but canceled his trip last minute to remain in the U.S. and prepare for Hurricane Dorian. Trump even accidentally misreported the geographical location of the storm – falsely stating it was supposed to hit Alabama.

Trump sent Vice President Mike Pence to the Warsaw ceremony instead.

After Trump was spotted golfing on Saturday and Monday, critics soon pounced. Upon returning to the White House on Sunday, Trump was asked if he had a message for the people of Poland, after he missed the weekend ceremonies.

Trump commented, “I just want to congratulate Poland. It’s a great country with great people. We have many Polish people in our country. We love our Polish friends. And I will be there soon.”

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