Monday, April 29, 2013

General Pulaski Honored in Bethlehem

Children from St. Peter and Paul RC School presented flowers
At one time, the Lehigh Valley's strong Polish-American community worked the blast furnaces and cranes at the Bethlehem Steel, producing the gun forgings and artillery shells that protected this nation in two world wars. On April 28, about sixty members of this community were at Bethlehem's south side again, not to manufacture steel, but to commemorate a man who represents the very best of American and Polish ideals. The valor of Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski, a Polish nobleman who fought and died in the Revolutionary War, is still remembered. He was honored during a brief ceremony at Pulaski Park, located on East Third St. and Brodhead Avenues.

Joe Janik wears replica of uniform worn by Gen. Pulaski
Pulaski, father of the American cavalry, once told George Washington that he came to this country because this is "where freedom is being defended." Like many Poles who would follow him, Pulaski spent some time in Bethlehem. It was there that he protected Moravian Sisters from unruly troops. In gratitude, they provided him with an embroidered silk banner, which he always took into battle with him. In the words of Longfellow,
And the warrior took that banner proud,
And it was his martial cloak and shroud
During a daring cavalry charge to protect French troops, Pulaski took that banner into battle for a last time in 1779, when he was mortally wounded in the Battle of Savannah.

Pulaski declined to participate in a punitive Sullivan Expedition planned against the Iroquois.

WWII Vet Walter Luczyszyn helped raise the American and Polish flags
U.S. Congressman Charlie Dent, one of numerous public officials on hand for the commemoration, stated that Pulaski exemplifies the "determination and defiance" exhibited by many other Poles throughout history, including John Paul II. Poland, Dent said, has always been trapped between two great powers, but has always stood like a rock, much like the boulder in Pulaski Park.

State Reps. Steve Samuelson and Dan McNeil presented a state house proclamation, honoring Kazimierz Pulaski, as he is also known. State Senator Lisa Boscola, who grew up in the Polish-Slovak-Hungarian south side of Bethlehem, said she "almost feels Polish." Mayor John Callahan stated that we need to "recognize those who came before us". He expressed some sorrow that this will be his last year attending Pulaski Day as Mayor.

Pulaski is one of only seven people to have ever been awarded honorary American citizenship.

Following the ceremony, a Mass was celebrated at St. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church in Allentown.
Julia Gloc, age 4, and brother Jacub, age 7, attend Polish school in Allentown
Mayor Callahan and Father Dominic Kalata want these young Polish Americans to remember those who came before them.

For more pictures, visit my Facebook album.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

And again another in-kind contribution to Johnny. Nice, Bernie!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Callahan is running a City that does things like celebrate Coretta Scott King's birthday and Pulaski Day. He is a necessary part of both stories. I could be supporting Reibman or "Maclure" and I would write the same story in each instance. It is what happened. Sorry if that troubles you. Maybe you should ask yourself why Reibman and "Maclure" are never at any functions like these. "Maclure" could not show up when West Easton or the new archives building was dedicated. Reibman hasn't been at a county meeting for 8 years. Callahan is doing his job, while "Maclure" is not doing his and Reibman is doing nothing.

Anonymous said...

Sure yoiu would write the same story, just like you did when Callahan was running against Dent.

Uncle Remus said...

mcclueless and the other waste of humanity are just practicing for what they would do as county exec - exactly nothing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

12:59, When Callahan was running against Dent, I did not write for a small weekly newspaper in Bethlehem. Now I do. I go where I am sent. How hard is that for you to understand?

Anonymous said...

Callahan happened to be there because he is mayor, otherwise he wouldn't have been there. Did Callahan attend all these events before that? No-he was busy doing the other job he had. You can not fault McClure because he is not yet elected. I agree this is a nice important ceremony about our history, but where are the pics of Steve Samuelson and Lisa Boscola? Only Callahan, Bernie? Odd.

Anonymous said...

Just another puff piece for his new best friend, mancrush Mayor Casino.