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Parade in honour of Polish-American hero returns to NYC

04.10.2021 08:30
The annual Pulaski Day Parade on Sunday marched down New York’s prestigious Fifth Avenue, paying tribute to the 18th-century Polish aristocrat who became a hero of the American Revolutionary War, Poland’s PAP news agency reported.
Photo:Danuta Isler/Radio Poland

The event returned for its 83rd edition after a year-long break due to COVID-19-related restrictions, and this year it additionally celebrated 100 years since the birth of Saint John Paul II, the late Polish-born pope who led the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 to 2005.   

Marching along Fifth Avenue on Sunday were mainly representatives of the Polish-American community from the states of New York and New Jersey, as well as nearby Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The participants ranged from war veterans through clergy to youth, including boy scouts and students of Polish supplementary schools.

There were strong contingents from diaspora organisations such as the Polish & Slavic Center, the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union and the Pulaski Association of Business and Professional Men. The eye was caught by "Miss Polonias" of various institutions and Harley motorcycle riders, the Polish state news agency reported.

Photo: Photo: Danuta Isler/Radio Poland

Leading the event, as its Grand Marshal, was Heidi Jadwiga Kopala from New Jersey, while Poland’s three-time Olympic champion, the hammer thrower Anita Włodarczyk, was one of its two honorary marshals.

“This shows the power of Polish women,” said Poland’s recently appointed ambassador to the United Nations, Krzysztof Szczerski.

He vowed his New York-based office would buy goods and services only from Polish and Polish-American suppliers.

The country’s Consul General in New York, Adrian Kubicki, welcomed the return of the Pulaski Parade, saying that Polish Americans were "craving the opportunity to show their Polish roots.”

One of the marchers, Polish American lawyer John Sokół, told PAP that Polish people in America as well as in the old country “ought to be proud of having their own Fifth Avenue parade,” and of the role played by figures such as Pulaski and Tadeusz Kościuszko in American history.

“These men played a very important part in the history of the United States,” Sokół said.

Photo: Photo: Danuta Isler/Radio Poland

Organised annually since 1937, the parade pays tribute to Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski, who died during the siege of Savannah in October 1779.

It is the second-oldest ethnic parade in New York, only behind the Irish St. Patrick’s event, which took place for the 260th time this year, PAP reported.


Source: PAP