Polish American Congress Meets
In Washington, D.C.
The Polish American Congress (PAC) held its annual Council of National Directors (CND) Meeting September 25-28, 2017. The Hilton Garden Inn, near President Ronald Reagan National Airport in Arlington, VA., was the venue for the CND’s business meetings and banquet on September 25. On Tuesday 26 September the national directors and their guests boarded a bus to Washington, DC for an all -day-event, POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS ADVOCACY DAY FOR POLAND ON CAPITOL HILL. This event included, for the the first time, a Reception/Rally in prestigious Congressional Meeting Room, North, with brief speeches delivered by members of the Congressional Caucus on Poland and Polish Government officials, who represented the Embassy and the Polish Cultural Institute in New York City. The CND continued its business meetings at the Hilton Garden Inn on Wednesday and Thursday.
The keynote speaker and Guest of Honor at the CND’s opening session was Reverend Miroslaw Krol, newly appointed Chancellor of Orchard Lake Seminary in Michigan. Reverend Krol thanked the PAC for playing a major role in helping Orchard Lake to continue its mission on behalf of the Church and Polonia.
The members of the PAC Executive Committee, Mrs. Micheline Jaminski, Honory Consul Debbie Majka, and Messrs. Anthony Bajdek, Hubert Cioromski, and Richard Mazella delivered their reports at Monday afternoon’s session. Mrs. Bozena Kaminski’s well received report on Polish Affairs included remarks by a surprise guest speaker: Mrs. Anna Holden, Unit Chief, Counter Terrorism Division, U.S. Department of Justice. The PAC is making good progress.
The Guest of Honor at Monday evening’s banquet, Piotr Wilczek, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland, praised the achievements of the PAC from its establishment, in 1944, to the present. Ambassador Wilczek called on the PAC to continue its advocacy for permanent NATO armed forces bases in Poland, with troops from western Europe and North America, at this time of resurgent Russian imperialism and aggression. Professor Marek Chodakiewicz’s keynote address called on the PAC and Polonia to open their checkbooks so we can persuade official and public opinion that a strong and truly sovereign Poland protects United States National Security Interests and promotes American values of freedom and free enterprise in the lands between the Baltic and Black Seas.
POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS ADVOCACY DAY FOR POLAND ON CAPITOL HILL had two components. First, PAC national directors, who represent the 19 states where the PAC has Divisions, and their guests, visited the offices of their United States Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. They delivered two strong messages. First, resurgent Russian imperialism requires strengthening NATO’s northeastern flank to ensure Poland’s security. Second, members of the House of Representatives should co-sponsor H.R. 2388. President Spula persuaded Congressman Mike Quigley to sponsor this resolution calling for Poland’s prompt accession to the Visa Waiver Program. Soon there will be a similar Senate resolution.
ADVOCACY DAY FOR POLAND ON CAPITOL HILL concluded with a Reception/Rally in Congressional meeting Room, North. President Spula asked Congressman Quigley to sponsor this prestigious room for the PAC’s event on the evening of 26 September from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Brief speeches were delivered by:
Mrs. Bozenna Buda, Washington DC Chapter, Friends of Saint Pope John Paul Foundation II
Congressman Mike Quigley (Illinois) who was the Key-Note Speaker
Congressman Tim Murphy (Pennsylvania, first vice-president Rick Pierchalski’s is his top Polish American constituent)
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (Ohio, introduced by PAC National Director David Milcinovic)
Congressman Lapinski (Illinois, introduced by National director Mary Anselmo)
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (Michigan)
Pawel Kotowski, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington D.C.
Izabela Gola, Polish Cultural Institute, New York City
Dr. Lucja Swiatkowska Cannon, Chairwoman of Polish Americans for Trump Advisory Committee
Mrs. Monika Jablonska, author of a new biography of Saint Pope John Paul II
Mrs. Anna Wellisz, strategic communications expert on correcting the image of Poland and the Poles
Mr. Brandon Weichert, expert on Russia
To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of the great hero of the American Revolution and patriot of his native Poland, General Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a delegation representing the Polish American Congress and Polonia throughout the United States, laid a wreath at the Kosciuszko Monument located in LaFayette Square, across from the White House. Members of the delegation were Micheline Jaminski, Hubert Cioromski, and Dr. Mark Pienkos, who delivered remarks about Kosciuszko. In 1910 the Polish National Alliance gave this magnificent monument to the United States. President William Howard Taft presided over the dedication ceremonies.
The PAC Council of National Directors resumed its business meeting on Wednesday. Ian Brzezinski, Director of the Brent Scowcroft Center, of the Atlantic Council explained the various measures taking place to protect Eastern European nations that are NATO members, including the Republic of Poland. Wednesday’s meeting continued with discussions on ways to improve communication within the organization, and on the several resolutions submitted by national directors to the Resolutions Committee. Vice-President Bajdek introduced Mr. John Cebrowski, a United States Marine combat aviator who served in the Indochina War. Mr. Cebrowski informed the CND of his efforts to preserve the legacy of Polish immigrants in Texas, and especially the ante-bellum nineteenth century Panna Maria Colony. He is also working to re-establish a Polish American Congress Division in East Texas.
The PAC annual meeting continued on Thursday morning with speaker Dale Denda who described how General Kazimierz Pulaski leading his Legion, composed largely of cavalry, kept open the overland supply route to Philadelhia, capital of the Continental Congress, from Little Egg Harbor, on the Atlantic coast of New Jersey.
Founded in 1944, the Polish American Congress is an umbrella organization representing at least ten million Americans of Polish descent, many of whom also are citizens of Poland. The PAC promotes civic, educational, and cultural programs designed to further knowledge of Polish history, language, culture, and encourages Polish American involvement in civic affairs For further information, please visit our website: www.pac1944.org
By John Czop
PHOTO: On behalf of the Polish American Congress, Polish Americans, and friends of Polonia, elected national officers of the PAC laid a wreath at the Kosciuszko Monument in LaFayette Square across from the White House in Washington, D.C. on September 26, 2017. Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the death of this great American Revolutionary General and patriot of his native Poland are from the left: Richard Mazella, Dr. Mark Pienkos, Micheline Jaminski, Hubert Cioromski.