Today in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) honored Polish and American freedom fighter Casimir Pulaski, who was born on this day in 1745. To celebrate Pulaski Day, observed on the first Monday in March in Rep. Lipinski’s home state of Illinois, the congressman was a recent guest of the Polish Highlanders Alliance at their headquarters in Chicago’s Archer Heights community as they paid tribute to the Revolutionary War hero and honored the relationship between Poland and the United States.
Rep. Lipinski’s statement in the House noted that Pulaski, in his first correspondence to George Washington, famously wrote, “I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it.” Rep. Lipinski continued, “Today Pulaski is remembered as the father of the American cavalry and one of the heroes of the American Revolution. He has been memorialized across America, through the naming of towns, counties, roads and other landmarks.”
Since 2005, Rep. Lipinski has represented Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District, home to more than 100,000 Polish-Americans, one of the highest numbers for any congressional district in the country. He is co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Poland, championing causes dear to Polish-Americans. He has been a strong proponent of admitting Poland to the Visa Waiver Program so that Polish citizens would no longer have to go through a very difficult process to visit the United States. Rep. Lipinski’s office has helped hundreds of Polish-American constituents gain visas for their relatives in order to attend weddings, baptisms, and other family events.
In 2009, Rep. Lipinski helped lead the successful effort to make Pulaski an honorary U.S. citizen, marking only the seventh time in American history that an individual has been granted such an honor.