Katyn Society Honors
October 21, 2018, Sunday, was a cold windy day at the Pulaski Monument in Pulaski Park in Fall River but the weather did not stop a patriotic group from showing respect for one of America’s champions in the American Revolutionary War. Pulaski was a Polish general who fought for his country and then for the American Colonies to gain their independence from England.
Army veteran, and attorney, Richard M. Urban who served as Master of Ceremonies, offered the opening remarks along with President Helen Rego of the Niagara Neighborhood Association to start the ceremony at the Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski memorial monument for Polish American Heritage Month.
The ceremony has been held now for over thirty years with its start by the late Polish Copernicus Society of Bristol County and now has been continued by the Katyn Society of Fall River. This gathering not only recognizes the General but also this yearly occasion remembers those that have served our country and those now in service in America’s armed forces.
Pulaski was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1745. When at only the age of 15, he fought for his country at the side of his father against the Russian occupiers. Later in his life after a meeting in Paris with Benjamin Franklin, Pulaski was persuaded to travel to the Colonies to give his service in the fight for their independence.
At the Battle of Brandywine, Pulaski is credited with saving the life of General George Washington. He secured his reputation as a military tactician and later became known as the Father of the American Calvary. During the battle of Savannah, in Georgia, he was mortally wounded when leading a charge on horseback against the British defenses. He died a few days after on October 11, 1779.
Carl Saweyko, well known area entrepreneur and community activist, was guest speaker. He outlined Pulaski’s career from the early days in Poland until his premature death. Carl pointed out that Pulaski is an American veteran and ask that all present veterans be acknowledge.
The Pulaski monument was placed in 1931 by the Holy Cross Parish and Polish organizations of Fall River. It stands as nice as the day it was erected thanks to the Niagara Association.
From the presentation of the President of the Niagara Neighborhood Association, Helen Rego, to the patriotic remarks by the South End Representative Alan Silvia, and other distinguished officials, the event went forward as usual in spite of the chill and wind as Pulaski would have appreciated had he been there in person not just in spirit. He was a man of persistence, patience and endurance like the people who attended the ceremony.
Thank you to all who participated which included Richard Kozik of the Katyn Society, Len Tavares, of the Fall River Veterans Council, Karen Viveiros of the Fall River Veterans Office and the wreath that she arranged to be at the ceremony. Also appreciation to the Kosciuszko Club, the Polish Veterans Organization, Marine veteran Bill Desmarais for release of the peace doves, and videographer Attorney David Dennis for their attendance. Along with Dan Griiffin for reading a very warm felt soldier’s poem, Al Cote and Charles Noversa who sang the National Anthem and Tom Coogan, FR School Committeeman.
A further thank you to Sandra Dennis, Helen Rego and Dolores Mello for the food that was provided after the ceremony to attendees at the Holy Cross hall.
Tribute to an Unknown Soldier
They answered their country’s call to arms,
Into battle they did go,
Where their final destination was,
No one will ever know,
May their final resting place,
Under some unknown sod,
Be forever hallowed,
For it is known,
Only unto God.
Richard M. Urban
Fall River, MA
November 1, 2018