A grandfather ignored his declining health and ailments to fulfill his promise to his granddaughter. Being a veteran who had served his country with unwavering determination, he showed the same dedication as he walked her down the aisle.
In late August 2018, Polish veteran Bronislaw “Grom” Karwowski donned his military attire decorated with bravery medals he had won during his service for a special cause. His lovely granddaughter, Joanna Sema, had requested him to accompany her on her big day.
Sema had asked her beloved grandpa to hold her hand and walk her to the altar for her wedding in Bialystok, Poland. The elderly man, who was once an insurgent in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising aimed at liberating the city from German occupation, immediately agreed.
A Dedicated Man
Despite worsening health, Karwowski didn’t let his illness keep him from performing his duty for his family. The Armed Forces said he displayed the same commitment and resolve while serving his homeland. He was a decorated Polish WW II veteran who had helped save hundreds of innocent lives.
The Polish resident shared that her dear grandfather had a smile in his final moments.
An Emotional Scene
As the frail pensioner and his granddaughter walked down the aisle, the people in attendance couldn’t keep their tears from falling. An emotional scene ensued as Sema breathed deeply to stay composed while her granddad escorted her to the altar.
Even the groom bit his lip to keep himself from crying as the grandfather-granddaughter duo walked toward him. Soon afterward, he kissed Karwowski on both cheeks, thanking him for keeping his promise despite the odds.
Making His Family Proud
Karwowski was reportedly captured by the Nazis but escaped from the Gestapo’s headquarters in Lomza, north-eastern Poland. During the communist period in 1984, he was arrested again and received a ten-year imprisonment sentence.
The 94-year-old veteran was honored with the Knight’s Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland, the Silver Cross of Merit with Swords, the Cross of the National Armed Deed, and many others.
Sadly, only two days after making his family proud and fulfilling his promise to his granddaughter, the Polish veteran passed away on September 1, 2018. The news of his death was shared by the National Armed Forces on social media. His tragic passing saddened many, and netizens shared heartfelt tributes for the national hero.
Keeping His Word
Paying a touching tribute to her beloved grandfather, the bride shared that he had told her he was incredibly proud to have lived long enough to see her wedding day. Sema added:
“I was looking forward to this moment and I am proud I have lived to see it. He promised he would walk me down the aisle and he kept his word.”
The 30-year-old woman said her granddad was fitted with a pacemaker in 2014, after which he told her to marry as soon as possible. She noted how he had been feeling weak and exhausted in the days leading up to her wedding.
Gone but Never Forgotten
Being a professional nurse, Sema revealed that she stayed with him till the end and told him that the news of him walking her down the aisle had made it to social media. The Polish resident shared that her dear grandfather had a smile in his final moments. She added:
“I’m so happy that the memory of him will stay alive and everyone can see him the way I did, as an amazing person and a beloved grandfather.”
Reminiscing about the Past
In addition to being a devoted WW II soldier, Karwowski played the role of a father figure to Sema, who moved in with her grandparents when she was only one. “He had 13 grandchildren, and all of us would fight over who got to sleep next to him because he used to tell nice fairytales and stories,” recalled Sema.
But that wasn’t all. Sema and Karwowski went everywhere together. “He loved taking all of us to the forest to pick fruits, and while granny was making tasty treats with them, he used to take a nap under an apple tree,” said Sema.
The Bialystok resident also shared that her dear “Grom” loved telling stories from the war era, but she didn’t fully understand them at the time due to her young age.
We are glad that the moments Karwowski walked his granddaughter down the aisle were recorded in a video and shared with the world. May the war hero’s soul rest in eternal peace, and may God grant courage and strength to his loved ones to keep his memories alive and bear his irreparable loss.
Click here to read another story about a 12-year-old boy who walked his mother down the aisle only days before he passed away.