Post Eagle Newspaper

Saturday

May 18, 2024

45°F, few clouds
New Jersey

Time Now

12:00:00

Kosciuszko At West Point

It was another cold, hard winter.  It’s hard to believe that Easter has past and that spring is finally on its way.  We remind you every year that there is no better place to enjoy the good weather than at the U. S. Military Academy at West Point in New York.  On Friday, May 1st and Saturday, May 2ndthe American Association of Friends of Kościuszko at West Point will hold the 12th annual conference and the U. S. Military Academy will host the 187th Observance in honor of Tadeusz Kościuszko.

The conference on Friday, May 1 will be held in the Eisenhower Room of the Thayer Hotel starting with registration at 9:30 am and will end at 5:30 pm.  Conference panelists will include noted scholars like Professors M. B. B. Biskupski, Ph.D., of Central Connecticut State University, James S. Pula, Ph.D., of Purdue University in Indiana, Michael A. Peszke of University of Connecticut (ret.); and Julian E. Kulski, journalist Andrew Nagorski of Newsweek and Wincenty Knapczyk, the National Commander of the Polish Army Veterans Association of America.

KosciuszkoforwebThe theme is For Your Freedom and Ours, Poland and Poles during World War II: suppressed Allied heroes from Poland fighting and surviving to the ends of the earth, including the battle of Britain, the Normandy invasion, and the battle of Berlin; their deportation by the Soviet Union to Siberia and exodus from Siberia via Iran and Iraq to Palestine for the invasion of Italy, their families sent to the safety of East Africa; the Italian campaign; Poland’s sustaining the War’s biggest underground fighting resistance to Nazi German and Soviet Russian brutality and atrocities; and the unsympathetic portrayal by Hollywood’s film industry of Poland’s struggle to survive extinction. .  Participants are invited to continue discussion at dinner afterwards.

On Saturday, May 2, beginning with 9:45 am Mass at the Catholic Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity, the U. S. Military Academy and a grateful public will honor Kościuszko for the 187th time.  After Mass, attendees can observe the Cadet Review on The Plain from a special reserved section and then join members of the Military Academy, the Kościuszko Squadron, the AAFKWP, Liga Morska/Sea League, Harcerzy/Boy and Girl Scouts, Polish Singers Alliance of America, Polish American Congress, Pulaski Parade Committee, other Polish American organizations and the general public in the tribute to Kościuszko at his monument which faces the glorious Hudson River.

Those who had attended the Saturday Mass and observance previously remember well the erudite homilies of Father Carl Urban of Schenectady, NY and the glorious singing of prize-winning Aria chorus of Wallington, NJ.  The enthusiasm for promulgating Kościuszko’s legacy at the conference and during the observance exhibited by Anthony J. Bajdek, Associate Dean (ret.) of Northeastern University  and Stephen N. Olejasz, Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Army (ret.) and former Professor of History at the U. S. Military Academy has enticed many professional and amateur historians to join the AAFKWP. Visiting the Military Academy and meeting cadet members of the Kościuszko Squadron is exciting, especially for youngsters.  It is gratifying to see how the numbers attending the two events have grown in the last few years in this homage to Kościuszko, but, there is always room for more.

After the ceremony at the monument, participants can attend the luncheon in the George Washington Room of the Thayer Hotel, tour the grounds of the academy, sit in Kościuszko’s own garden, and/or visit the museum and library.  Make the Saturday observance an annual pilgrimage by car, bus or train to the academy.

For information about access to the U. S. Military Academy grounds, costs for the conference and/or meals, or for any other aspect of the two days’ events, please check the AAFKWP site at www.kosciuszkoatwestpoint.org or make contact with F. X. Gates at 917-913-3133, 718-852-6812, fxgates2@aol.com or Cynthis Bajdek at 603-718-1351, a.j.bajdek@comcast.net.

Click on ad Kosciuszko Day Observance for more details.