By the President of the United States of America
This month, we Americans honor the millions of men and women of Polish descent who have helped build our Nation and keep it strong and prosperous. many important chapters in American history -- and even the story of hope now unfolding in their ancestral homeland -- provide moving testimony to the faith, courage, and hard work of Polish Americans.
During the Revolutionary War, courageous Poles such as General Casimir Pulaski and Tadeusz Kosciouszko helped to win the American struggle for independence. These two men clearly understood that liberty is the God-given right of all men, and the cause of freedom is universal. Like many of their contemporaries, they knew that the hopes of freedom-loving peoples around the world were invested in our Nation's great experiment in self-government.
Today, we pay tribute to the millions of Polish immigrants who -- even though they arrived in this country with little more than the clothes on their backs -- have built strong families and thriving communities across the United States. With great faith in God and in America's promise of freedom and opportunity for all, they have worked with pride and diligence. All of us have been enriched by their success.
Polish Americans have not only prospered, they have also become responsible citizens and true patriots. Many Polish Americans were among the thousnads of men and women who served our Nation with distinction during World Wars I and II. As we gratefully remember their courage and selflessness, we also recall the contributions of our Polish allies in the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Throughout our Nation's history, the people of the United States and Poland have been united not only by cultural and familial ties, but also by our common love for freedom and representative government. Poland's history chronicles the struggles of a people who would not be deterred in their fight for liberty and the right to self-determination. The Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791, drafted only a few years after our Nation's own, was one of the first written national constitutions in the world. Its creation vividly demonstrated the Poles' determination to secure a free and just system of government.
Despite years of repression by ruling officials, military invasion by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939, and the declaration of martial law in 1981, that resolve has remained unshaken. Indeed, after years of struggle and sacrifice, the persistence of the Polish people is finally being rewarded. For the first time since World War II, Poland is being led by a non-Communist government.
Today, all Americans join their friends and neighbors of Polish descent in celebrating recent political reforms in Poland, for these changes represent even more than a great victory for the Polish people -- they also bear witness to the power of faith and the triumph of democratic ideals.
The Congress, by Public Law 101-64, has designated October 1989 as "Polish American Heritage Month" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.
Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 1989 as Polish American Heritage Month. I urge all Americans to join their fellow citizens of Polish descent in observance of this month.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of october, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fourteenth.