In Recognition of Casimir Pulaski Dayby Representative Janice D. Schakowsky
Posted on 2013-03-04
in the house of representatives
Monday, March 4, 2013
Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Casimir
Pulaski Day. I believe it is important that each year we celebrate and
retell the story of this great Polish-American hero of the 18th
century, and no one does it better than Illinois with our state
holiday. But it is not just the story of one man. It is also true that
when we celebrate the memory of Casimir Pulaski, we honor great
principles and values that are just as true today.
Principles like the idea of sacrifice for something you believe in, something much bigger than yourself. Casimir Pulaski was willing to risk and ultimately sacrifice his life for the idea of creating a new democracy--and today, young men and women are doing that very thing around the world. When we honor Casimir Pulaski, we honor our young men and women in uniform who are in harm's way even today.
The lessons of this day include the importance of international cooperation, US--Poland friendship, and immigration reform.
Casimir Pulaski made an amazing journey, considering the difficulty of travel in those days. He became, not just a participant in an historic struggle, but a great leader, a general, and helped shape the future of the United States of America. Young Polish soldiers are serving right now as part of a US-led coalition in Afghanistan and deserve our thanks today for standing shoulder to shoulder with us. When we honor Casimir Pulaski, we honor them too.
And how many young Poles living here in Chicago are waiting for their chance to be Generals or simply wear the uniform of the United States or study so they can discover a cure for cancer or be the entrepreneur that develops the next new technology? But a broken immigration system is blocking their dreams. We can honor Casimir Pulaski by working to make this generation of Americans welcoming to the dreamers and all Polish immigrants who have embraced this country.
I don't think Casimir Pulaski was asked for his visa when he mounted his horse and picked up his weapon. Today, visitors to our country from Poland should not be asked either. That is why, once again, I am a vigorous advocate for the Visa Waiver program for Poland. And by pushing for this change, we all honor the memory and heroism of Casimir Pulaski.
I hope that this day will be one during which all Illinoisans and Americans will focus on the significance of this day and this one man on our lives in the 21st century.