U.S. Mass Media Often Display
An Ignorance of American History

By on February 5, 2013

Calls for eliminating certain holidays that they feel “meaningless”… like Pulaski Day

Brooklyn, N.Y. ..  America’s print and electronic media are an endless source of many different opinions aimed at the public.  Likewise, the public holds varied opinions of its own about the media. That the media frequently reveal a glaring void exists in their knowledge of American history is one such opinion.

The Los Angeles Daily News gave an example of this when it called for the elimination of certain holidays they felt were “meaningless.”

Although it is only a minor holiday observed only in certain states, the West Coast newspaper urged an end to a day honoring the memory of Casimir Pulaski.  General Pulaski was a military officer from Poland who volunteered his services in the cavalry of George Washington’s Continental Army and was killed in action for the cause of American Freedom.

It prompted a contrary opinion and response from the Polish American Congress as follows:

To: Al Martinez almtz13@aol.com

From: Frank Milewski

Chair pacdny@verizon.net

Yours is obviously an ethnic surname just like ours.  America is frequently described as a mosaic of various ethnic groups, each with its own distinctive identity.

We write from our part of this mosaic to your Hispanic part where you reside.

Your January 21st blog is an appeal to abolish meaningless holidays.  One of those holidays whose abolition you advocate honors General Casimir Pulaski, a Polish military officer who offered his help to General George Washington in America’s War of Independence.

If General Pulaski happened to be from the Hispanic part of the mosaic, we doubt you would be calling for the elimination of what you say is a “meaningless holiday.”  You would likely be arguing for its retention, and for good reason.

General Pulaski is credited with valid accomplishments and sacrifices for the cause of American liberty.  We remember them when we observe Pulaski Day as an important American holiday.

In gratitude for those accomplishments and sacrifices, America has bestowed on him the title, “Father of the American Cavalry,”  by which he has been known since the birth of the United States more than two centuries ago.

Some may consider it strange that a foreigner from Poland could even be eligible for such a distinguished designation.  Other foreigners also served under Washington: Lafayette, von Steuben, Kosciuszko. Only Kosciuszko, also from Poland, was given a comparable title when Americans accepted him as “Father of American Engineers.”  But he and the other foreign officers were able to return to their homeland after having helped America become a free and independent nation. Not General Pulaski.  Unlike the others, he lost his life in service to the United States.  The country for which he died posthumously granted him honorary American citizenship just recently.

Immigrants and children of immigrants today enjoy the freedom won through the sacrifices of American heroes like Casimir Pulaski.  Regardless which part of the American mosaic we occupy, he is a hero worthy of a holiday everyone of us should want to respect.

– Frank Milewski