Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak (D-Cheektowaga) announced the New York State Assembly has passed a resolution he introduced memorializing Governor Eliot Spitzer to proclaim October 2007 as Polish American Heritage Month (Assembly Resolution No. 730).
“Polish American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the countless contributions of Polish Americans and New Yorkers of Polish descent in every aspect of society,” Gabryszak said. “It honors our rich cultural heritage and illuminates Polish history and tradition, as well as the spirit of an indomitable people.”
It is a time-honored tradition for the Assembly to commemorate events which foster ethnic pride and exemplify the cultural diversity that represents the fabric of the people of New York. The United States and Poland enjoy a deep relationship which is rooted in centuries of kinship, culture, common devotion to liberty and democratic government.
“Many New Yorkers proudly trace their roots back to Poland. Even before America became a nation, Poles came to these shores in search of liberty and opportunity,” Gabryszak said.
Poland's Constitution is only second in history to our own U.S. Constitution. Both stand as symbols of patriotism and express the same shared hopes for freedom and self-determination. On March 12, 1999, when Poland formally joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), it symbolized Poland's return to the center of European civilization and its renewed commitment to democratic values.
Poland has given the world many powerful examples of courage and faith. Pope John Paul II was one of the most significant figures of the 20th century. Maximilian Mary Kolbe and countless other martyrs died in the name of freedom. Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Casimir Pulaski were heroes of the Revolutionary War. Poland also provided the scientific genius of Copernicus, and the artistry of Paderewski and Chopin.
Assemblyman Gabryszak said, “New York State is greatly enriched by one of the largest populations of citizens of Polish ancestry in the nation. Polish American Heritage Month will provide an opportunity to recognize their contributions to the quality and character of life. Through events and activities, we will celebrate the role Polish Americans have played, and will continue to play, in our society.”