Pulaski Memorial Day, 2002
October 10, 2002
Americans celebrate our friendship and common commitment to freedom with the
people of Poland each year on October 11, when we honor Brigadier General Casimir
Pulaski, a hero of the American Revolutionary War. As a brave Polish patriot,
General Pulaski made the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation, giving his life
in 1779 to help America gain its independence. His devotion to liberty continues
to inspire us today as we join with our allies to secure peace and freedom around
Before joining the American Revolution in 1777, Casimir Pulaski struggled against
oppression in his native Poland, fighting alongside his father and brothers
to defend their homeland from Prussian and Imperial Russian invaders. Though
his cause was ultimately overcome by those powerful forces, Pulaski was widely
recognized for his courageous actions as a cavalry officer and leader of Polish
forces. Benjamin Franklin lauded Pulaski as "famous throughout Europe for
his bravery and conduct in defense of the liberties of his country."
When General Pulaski joined General George Washington's staff, he immediately
made important contributions to the war effort. He led a critical counterattack
at the Battle of Brandywine that avoided a potential military disaster, earning
him a commission as a Brigadier General. American leaders valued Pulaski's experience
in battle, his knowledge of military strategy, and his pioneering efforts that
led to a recognition that he was the "Father of the American cavalry."
While leading cavalry forces in the Siege of Savannah, Pulaski was wounded,
and died on October 11, 1779.
Two hundred and twenty-five years ago, Casimir Pulaski joined forces with Americans
to establish liberty and overcome despotism. That inspiration and solidarity
is mirrored today as we engage in a war against terrorism. As part of a global
coalition, which includes the government and people of Poland, we are working
to ensure that our two nations remain strong friends and allies in our effort
to build a safer, more peaceful world for all.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America,
by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the
United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, October 11, 2002, as General Pulaski
Memorial Day. I encourage all Americans to commemorate this occasion with appropriate
programs and activities paying tribute to Casimir Pulaski and honoring all those
who defend the freedom of our great Nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of October, in
the year of our Lord two thousand two, and of the Independence of the United
States of America the two hundred and twenty-seventh.