Illinois National Guard Courtesy report
CHICAGO (3/9/12) -- Members from the Illinois National Guard, The Consul General of the Republic of Poland, Polish civic leadership and former Polish Soldiers celebrated the memory of Brig. Gen. Casimir Pulaski at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland here, Thursday.
“The Illinois National Guard has maintained a State Partnership Program with Poland since 1993 and is one of the few National Guard States to co-deploy with their state partner,” said Army Capt. Andrew Adamczyk, Illinois National Guard International/Intergovernmental Affairs Officer.
“It's a pleasure to be here representing the Illinois National Guard – to celebrate Casimir Pulaski day and highlight the unique link between Illinois and Poland,” he said.
Guard members from the Illinois National Guard's Bilateral Embedded Support Team-A9 (BEST-A9) are currently serving in Afghanistan with Polish Task Force White Eagle in Ghazni province as a part of the NATO/ISAF mission.
Due to the large Polish population in Chicago, State Sen. Norbert A. Kosinski introduced a bill on June 26, 1977, to celebrate the birthday of Casimir Pulaski – observed on the first Monday of every March. The first official Casimir Pulaski Day celebrations were held in 1978.
This holiday is separate from the federal observance – General Pulaski Memorial Day held every year on October 11 – which commemorates Pulaski's death from wounds suffered at the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779.
Born on March 6, 1745 in Poland – sometimes called the “Father of American Cavalry” because of his skills as a cavalry officer – Pulaski was an important figure in American military history.
Pulaski was recruited by Benjamin Franklin for service in the American Civil War in 1777. His first military engagement against the British was on September 11, 1777, at the Battle of Brandywine.
His courageous actions averted a disastrous defeat of the American cavalry and saved the life of General George Washington. As a result, Washington promoted Pulaski to brigadier general of the American cavalry.The link between the Illinois National Guard and Poland dates back more than 150 years to the Civil War when 200 Polish men enlisted into the Illinois militia to fight for the Union's cause.