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2017 Year of the Wisła River, Joseph Conrad-Korzeniowski, Tadeusz Kościuszko,
      Adam Chmielowski, Honorat Koźmiński and Marshal Józef Piłsudski 
2017

                            Descriptions of the 2017 honorees

A DAY WITH GENERAL KOŚCIUSZKO

...

On September 17, 2017, the Kościuszko Park in Milwaukee was again a place of gathering for Poles upholding their reverence for the Polish-American hero, Tadeusz Kościuszko. The event was organized to honor the 200th Anniversary of his death - celebrated worldwide under the patronage of UNESCO - and to mark the Year of Kościuszko as declared by the Senate of the Republic of Poland.

An important message reverberating throughout the Sunday's event was the need to teach our children the history of their ancestral homeland and its heroes. The task is already a part of the teaching program in the St. John Paul II Polish Saturday School (KPSS), one of the event's organizers. But the "Day with General Kościuszko" was embraced as a great venue for the children of American Polonia to learn more about the hero recognized in both the country of their ancestors and the country where they live.

The ceremony in the Kościuszko Park commenced after the vibrant group from the church arrived waving the Polish and American flags and carrying the wrath to be placed at the Kościuszko Monument. David Rydzewski (president of the Polish American Congress - WI Division) and Bożena Przybysz (KPSS coordinator) delivered the opening remarks. Father Edward Traczyk spoke next reinforcing his earlier message of the importance of teaching history to the children and reminiscing about the estimated 60,000 people attending the original unveiling of the Kościuszko Monument in 1905.

The monument's eventful history moved again front and center in the words of Claude Krawczyk, a chair of the Kościuszko Monument Restoration Committee, attending the event along two other committee members: Judy Ramazzini and Susan Mikos. It is thanks to the committee and many benefactors that after the performed renovation and rededication on the Independence Day in 2013, the monument now adorns the park in its unvarnished glory.

The wrath honoring the "Hero of both Hemispheres" was laid at the monument's base after the participants sang the American and Polish anthems. Katarzyna Zawiślak (KPSS) led the singing and later directed also her young students playing a traditional tune Płynie Wisła, płynie, po polskiej krainie (Flows the Vistula River, flows across the Polish land) on hand bells. The choice of song could not be more opportune since along with Tadeusz Kościuszko, the Vistula River is one of several honorees proclaimed as 2017 patrons by the Polish Parliament.

Besides the animated group of school children wearing folk costumes or red T-shirts (featuring the school logo and coat of arms of the Republic of Poland in the back), four attendees in the Kościuszko outfits helped to give the event a very special atmosphere. It wasn't just the costumes as they also delivered speeches describing in Kościuszko's voice the three main phases of his life.

Brothers Fabian and Kevin Marchewka (both from the Catholic Polish Saturday School of St. John Paul II) gave voice to the young Kościuszko describing his childhood, school years and favorite subjects. Stan Graiewski's (Polish American Congress - WI Division) speech focused on the Kościuszko's participation in the American Revolutionary War and ended with a moving salute to the attentive audience.

The third speech - written by prof. Don Pienkos (Polish American Congress - WI Division) and delivered by Neil Dziadulewicz (Syrena Dancers) - turned the spotlight on Kościuszko's deeds after the American War of Independence and particularly on his efforts to restore the free Poland. The conclusion of that speech could not summarize his life work any better, while simultaneously giving the gist of its meaning to the contemporary society and to all of us attending the ceremony:

"There are many, many memorials and monuments to what I stood for - freedom, independence and social justice - for all people. Like the beautiful monument right here in Milwaukee.

Thank you for this!

But perhaps the two best testimonials are the living ones. One is the America's Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The other is the Poland of today - a democratic, free and independent Poland, a Poland for all Poles whatever their station in life, a Poland that is a trusted friend and ally of the United States.

Thank you all for today, too!"



KOŚCIUSZKO EVENTS IN SEPTEMBER

Kosciuszko 102b

 

September 17, 2017 12:00 pm

A DAY WITH THE GENERAL KOŚCIUSZKO

Gathering at his Monument in Milwaukee's Kościuszko Park

To honor General Kościuszko on the 200th anniversary of his death, join members of St. John Paul II Polish Saturday School, the Polish American Congress, and Polanki to hear the story of Kościuszko told in his own words (in Polish and English)

The event will begin following the procession from St. Maximillian Kolbe Church to the Kościuszko Monument starting after the end of 10:30 am Mass in Polish.

Anticipated time of the event in Kościuszko Park is 1 hour.

Please bring your own chair if you want to sit during the program

 

September 25, 2017 4:00 pm

WHY IS KOSCIUSZKO CALLED 'THE HERO OF TWO CONTINENTS?'

Kosciuszko 108b

Lecture by Dr. James Pula
Professor of History at Purdue University

The free lecture with refreshments will be hosted in the Polish Center of Wisconsin.

The event is sponsored by the Milwaukee Society of the Polish National Alliance and supported by Polanki (the Polish Women's Cultural Club of Milwaukee), the Wisconsin State Division of the Polish American Congress, the UW-Milwaukee Polish Studies Committee and the Polish Heritage Alliance.

 

It was an unusual birthday gift that arrived from Poland to the White House on October 14, 1926. Delivered a few months after the 150th anniversary of American independence was celebrated on July 4th of that year, it was a collection of nearly 30,000 pages with 5.5 million signatures gathered among 30 millions of citizens of the Second Polish Republic and about 3 millions of Poles living abroad. The pages were bound into 111 volumes of which the first one was entitled "The Polish Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States."

      From reports of the 2016 WSIP recipients
Wisconsin Study in Poland Scholarship


The program also gave me the exposure of studying in a different country and in a different language and made me realize how great studying abroad actually is even if just for a month. Studying in Poland made me get out of my comfort zone and be fully exposed to a new culture and way of living. This program was one of the best experiences if not the best experience in my life. (Bartłomiej Boryczka)
.


On the first day of the program, I was very impressed and I learned a lot from the Wisława Szyborska’s secretary professor Michał Rusinek’s speech “Lost in Translation”. It was very interesting and a very good start to the program. I also got to learn and discover the Polish language at a much deeper level and came to realize that ...... Polish is truly one of the hardest languages, however in my opinion also the most beautiful. (Bartłomiej Boryczka)


I made good contacts with my professors there and am grateful for the time they shared with me in and out of the classroom. Their instruction affirmed my passion for the study of Polish culture and history as well as given me new strategies as both an instructor and a student myself. Furthermore, my studies influenced my creative work as they always have. (Peter Burzynski
.

I also discovered the magnificent Jagiellonian University. I learned about the history of the university and that UJ is the oldest university in Poland, the second oldest university in Central Europe and one of the oldest universities in the world.(Bartłomiej Boryczka).

I attended an awe-inspiring street performance festival, a Jewish music festival, and spent time in bookstores chatting with local poets and sipping coffee on tables that had original handwritten works by Nobel Laureates Czesław Miłosz and Wisława Szymborska encased within them. This last experience was especially impactful on me since I have long been inspired by the works of both poets. I teach their work every semester and have written about it extensively in my graduate studies. It was truly a pleasure to feel their presence so closely. I also made pilgrimages to their tombs in Kraków in order to pay my respect and perhaps gain insight for my own poetry. (Peter Burzynski)

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