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Mar 4, 2024

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Katyn Society Honors General Pulaski

MASSACHUSETTS (October 25, 2020) – October 11, 2020, 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 soldiers in the American Revolutionary War. Pulaski was a Polish Calvary officer who fought for his country, Poland, and then for the American Colonies to gain their independence from England.

Army Sergeant veteran, and attorney, Richard Urban who served as Master of Ceremonies, offered the opening remarks along with Niagara Neighborhood Association President Helen Rego and mayor Paul Coogan 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 and that of once Massachusetts Governor Edward King 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 Society, 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 members of the Katyn Society, Veterans Agent Ray Hague and Karen Viveiros of the Fall River Veterans Office and for the wreath that they arranged to be delivered for the ceremony. Also, appreciation is given to the Kosciuszko Club, the Polish Veterans Organization, and videographer Edward Avilla for their help. Along with Linda Pereira, Fall River City Council woman, and school committeeman Tom Khoury, who led the group with the pledge of allegiance to the flag. And special thank you to former Marine Bill Desmarais and his wife Paula for the release of the Doves of Peace.

A further thank you goes to Dolores Mello for the food and coffee that she provided after the ceremony to all attendees, Victor Farias, Fall River Graves and Flags Officer and Larry Beirola, adjutant, of the Fall River Veterans Councill who played the taps. Also, a thank you to Attorney David Dennis who laid the wreath and led the group in a moment of silent prayer along with the help of his wife Sandra.


Tribute to the Unknown Soldiers

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.


By Richard M. Urban