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May 24, 2024

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Katyn Society Honors General Pulaski

(November 6, 2019) October 20, 2019, Sunday, was a mild sunny day at the General Pulaski Monument in Pulaski Park in Fall River, Massachusetts, allowing a patriotic group to show respect for one of America’s champions in the American Revolutionary War.  Pulaski was a Polish Calvary officer who fought for his country and then for the American Colonies to gain their independence from England.

Army veteran, and attorney, Richard Urban who served as Master of Ceremonies, offered the opening remarks along with acting mayor Cliff Ponte to start the ceremony at the Brigadier General Kazimierz Pulaski memorial monument for Polish American Heritage Month in Massachusetts.

General Pulaski Memorial Day is a United States public holiday in honor of the general. This holiday is held every year on October 11 by Presidential proclamation to commemorate his death from wounds suffered at the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779 and to honor the heritage of Polish Americans.

The ceremony has been held now for over thirty – five years with its start by the late Polish Copernicus Society of Bristol County and now has been continued by the Katyn Society of Fall River. This gathering not only recognizes the General but also this yearly occasion remembers those that have served our country and those now in service in America’s armed forces.

Pulaski was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1745. When at only the age of 15, he fought for his country at the side of his father against the Russian occupiers. Later in his life after a meeting in Paris with Benjamin Franklin, Pulaski was persuaded to travel to the Colonies to give his service in the fight for their independence.

At the Battle of Brandywine, Pulaski is credited with saving the life of General George Washington. He secured his reputation as a military tactician and later became known as the Father of the American Calvary. During the battle of Savannah, in Georgia, he was mortally wounded when leading a charge on horseback against the British defenses.  He died a few days after on October 11, 1779.

State Representative Alan Silvia, a veteran himself, was guest speaker.  He outlined Pulaski’s career from the early days in Poland until his premature death. He pointed out that Pulaski is an American veteran and ask that all present veterans be acknowledge.

The Pulaski monument was placed in 1931 by the Holy Cross Parish and Polish organizations of Fall River. It stands as nice as the day it was erected thanks to the Niagara Neighborhood Association.

From the presentation of the President of the Katyn  Association, Richard Kozik, to the patriotic remarks by the South End Representative Alan Silvia, and other distinguished officials, the event went forward as usual in the wonderful Autumn New England weather as Pulaski would have appreciated had he been there in person not just in spirit. He was a man of persistence, patience and endurance like the people who attended the ceremony.

Thank you to all who participated which included Richard Kozik of the Katyn Society, Karen Viveiros of the Fall River Veterans Office and the wreath that she arranged to be at the ceremony. Also appreciation is given to the Kosciuszko Club, the Polish Veterans Organization, and videographer JoAnne Breault for their attendance. Along with school committeeman Paul Coogan and Tom Khoury, Trott Lee who led the group with the pledge of allegiance to the flag, City Councilor Steven Camera,  Tim McCoy, Michelle Dionne and City Administrator Cathy Ann Viveiros.

A further thank you goes to Dolores Mello for the food and coffee that she provided after the ceremony to all attendees. Lastly, thanks to the Fall River Herald News, and reporter Amanda Burke, for the nice pictures, and the article that she wrote.


Tribute to an Unknown Soldier

They answered their country’s call to arms,
Into battle they did go,
Where their final destination was,
No one will ever know,
May their final resting place,
Under some unknown sod,
Be forever hallowed,
For it is known,

Only unto God.

Richard M. Urban
Fall River, Ma. 02724