The annual Pulaski Day Parade, organised to commemorate the hero of Poland and the US, General Kazimierz Pułaski marched through New York’s streets for the 82nd time.
The theme of this year’s parade was “Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Prime Minister, Statesman, Composer and Musician on the 100th Anniversary of Polish-American Diplomatic Relations.”
The event, taking place, as usual, on Fifth Avenue on Manhattan Island, was opened with the Polonaise dance by the Polish American Folk Dance Company.
Several Polish and US officials took part in the inauguration of the parade, including the US senator Charles Schumer, the US Representative Carolyn Maloney, Poland’s state secretary Piotr Naimski and the Polish Ambassador in the US Piotr Wilczek.
I was proud to be a part of the Pulaski Day Parade in New York today. Congratulations to the @PulaskiParadeNY Chairman Richard Zawisny, Grand Marshal @BarcikowskiD and all proud Polish Americans who joined us today. pic.twitter.com/Wq7v9Q4lY6— Piotr Wilczek 🇵🇱 (@AmbWilczek) October 6, 2019
Hero of two states
Being one of the oldest ethnic parades in NYC, the annual event commemorates the anniversary of the death of General Kazimierz Pułaski, who died during the Battle of Savannah in October 1779.
General Pułaski was a hero of both Poland and the US, he fought in the American Revolutionary War. He and his friend, Michael Kovats de Fabriczy from Hungary, were called “fathers of the American cavalry.”
In 2009, General Pulaski posthumously received the title of Honorary Citizen of the US, an honour which has been given to only eight people in history.
The Polish hero is commemorated in the US in many ways. Apart from Casimir Pulaski Day, celebrated mainly in Illinois and the federal General Pulaski Memorial Day, there are counties, cities, towns, buildings, parks and other objects, as well as a nuclear submarine named after him.