Aviation Brigade Honors Polish Officer - Revolutionary War Hero
October 24, 2008
<b> FORT STEWART, GA </b> -- Soldiers with the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade participated in the 2008 Pulaski Jubilee Oct. 15, at Monterey Square, Savannah. The ceremony was in honor of Brig. Gen. Count Kazimier Pulaski, a Polish-born general for whom a monument stands at Monterey Square and the man Fort Pulaski is named after.
"We don't (have a ceremony) just to have a celebration and to have people sing and bands play and people march and horses prance," said Francis X. Hayes, chairman of the 2008 Pulaski Jubilee. "It's intended to be representative of relationships among people.
One of the things that we've strived for is to increase the diversity of involvement, and I think it was quite evident today that it's a diverse group, unlike others you may see in this area. We attempt to include everybody as Pulaski did."
The ceremony included a performance by the Savannah State Singers, a formation of 3rd CAB Soldiers as well as a 21-gun salute rendered by Aviation Brigade troops, and a medley of anthems of the participants in the Siege of Savannah including England, Ireland, Haiti, France, Germany and Poland, performed by the 3rd Infantry Division Band. Additionaly, members of the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Veterans, the Benedictine Cadets and a representative of Poland participated.
"It is my privilege and honor, as a representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Armed Forces, to be a part of the event," said Lt. Col. Rafal Nowak, assistant Defense, Military, Naval and Air AttachAfA of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland. "Remembering a citizen of a foreign, geographically remote country gives testimony to the diversity of its society and ideals that it was built upon."
Pulaski arrived in America after Gen. George Washington sent Benjamin Franklin to France to enlist Pulaski to train up the American forces on cavalry operations and has been called the "Father of the American Cavalry." Pulaski died in the Siege of Savannah in October of 1779 and was the highest ranking officer to die during the American Revolution.
A wreath was laid at the base of the Pulaski monument by Hayes and Nowak. Nowak quoted former President John F. Kennedy saying, "He was only 32. He was not an American. He had been on these shores for less than two years. He represented a different culture, a different language, a different way of life. But he had the same love of liberty as the people of this country, and, therefore, he was an American as much as he was a Pole."