By chance, Polish cop helps Lech Walesa with flat tire in US

Category : Human Interest

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. trooper / ˈtru pər / (n.) – a state police officer

    There were a lot of troopers when the mayor delivered his speech.

  2. native / ˈneɪ tɪv / (n.) – a person born and raised in a particular place

    You can tell that he’s a native of Mexico from his accent.

  3. communist / ˈkɒm yə nɪst / (adj.) – relating to the principles of communism

    Communist groups are against the upper classes of society. They want equality for everyone.

  4. topple / ˈtɒp əl / (v.) – to remove a leader or government from power

    The new mayor toppled the political dynasty that ruled the city for decades.

  5. right-wing / raɪt wɪŋ / (adj.) – related to people or groups that support traditional views and are often against big political changes

    Right-wing politicians are against the proposed law on abortion.


Read the text below.

A Connecticut state trooper who is a native of Poland got quite the surprise while responding to an SUV with a flat tire Wednesday — a passenger in the vehicle happened to be former Polish President Lech Walesa.

State police said Trooper Lukasz Lipert arrived to the call in Tolland and was greeted by Walesa, who had spoken in Hartford on Tuesday as part of his U.S. tour advocating for aid for refugees who have fled Ukraine during the war with Russia.

Lipert, 35, who came to the U.S. when he was 18, told The Hartford Courant that he spoke with Walesa in Polish about their homeland and the anti-communist movement Walesa helped lead.

“It was definitely a great opportunity to meet the man who had a voice during those times,” Lipert said. “It was definitely a great experience.”

Walesa, 78, led the nationwide Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980s that eventually toppled Poland’s communist leaders through an election in 1989. He received a Nobel Prize in 1983 and served as Poland’s first popularly elected president from 1990 to 1995. He is a strong critic of Poland’s current right-wing government.

A vehicle service worker changed the tire and Walesa continued on his way down I-84. One of his next stops is an event in Boston on Monday.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • If you happened to be in the same situation as the trooper, what would you do? Why? Discuss.
  • If you would be given the chance to meet someone important, who would you like to meet? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Why do you think it’s important to have a voice in political movements? Discuss.
  • Lipert is now 35 and must’ve been very young during the Solidarity movement, but he’s still familiar with what Walesa did. How can it be ensured that the next generations are knowledgeable about history (ex. including history in early education, opening museums)? Discuss.
Category : Human Interest