George Bush photo

Proclamation 6493—Polish-American Heritage Month, 1992

October 15, 1992

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The peoples of the United States and Poland enjoy a deep and abiding friendship that is rooted in centuries-old ties of kinship and culture -- and in our common devotion to liberty and democratic government. Therefore, our entire Nation gladly joins with Americans of Polish descent in observing Polish-American Heritage Month.

For descendants of America's first Polish settlers and for the many sons and daughters of Poland who have emigrated to the United States in this century, Polish-American Heritage Month is a time of rightful celebration and pride. It is a time to celebrate the magnificent land of which Adam Mickiewicz and other poets wrote, its "fields rich in varied flowers, silvered with wheat and gilded with rye." It is also a time to celebrate Poland's many contributions to the world, from the scientific genius of Copernicus to the consummate artistry of Paderewski and Chopin. Through individuals such as Maximilian Mary Kolbe and countless other martyrs who died in the name of freedom and of the Creator who has granted it to each of us, Poland has also given the world powerful examples of courage and faith.

It is such faith, courage, and devotion to liberty that have long fortified the cultural and familial ties that exist between the Polish and American peoples. Like colonists from other countries, the first Polish settlers in the United States braved a treacherous ocean journey in order to obtain freedom and opportunity in a new land. Recognizing the universal importance of our Nation's struggle for independence, courageous Poles such as Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Casimir Pulaski later became heroes of our Revolutionary War. This month, we also remember the brave resistance to tyranny that Poles have demonstrated in this century, from the small garrison at Westerplatte to the Jewish ghettoes of Warsaw, from quiet places of prayer and worship to the busy docks of the Gdansk shipyards.

Despite generations of foreign domination and repressive rule, including invasion by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 and the declaration of martial law in 1981, Poles never surrendered their hopes of freedom and self-determination. Those hopes were expressed clearly in the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791, the second written national constitution in history after our own and one that has remained a prized symbol of Polish patriotism and resolve.

Today the people of Poland are forging a bright future under a new constitution and government, and we Americans are proud to support their efforts to establish enduring democratic institutions and a thriving, market-oriented economy. Beginning in 1989, the United States worked with Poland and other nations to establish a $1 billion program for the stabilization of Polish currency. We have also been working together through the Polish-American Enterprise Fund to encourage private sector development in Poland through investment, loans, technical assistance, and other means. In addition, it is my goal to establish stronger commercial ties with Poland by proposing a free trade agreement that would be part of a strategic network of free trade agreements throughout the world. These ties will promote economic growth and jobs in both of our countries.

The special relationship that exists between the United States and Poland promises to be one of continued cooperation and friendship, and as we once again observe Polish-American Heritage Month, we look forward to many more occasions for celebration in the future.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 305, has designated October 1992 as "Polish-American Heritage Month" and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this month.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 1992 as Polish-American Heritage Month. I encourage all Americans to join in observance of this month.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventeenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 6493—Polish-American Heritage Month, 1992 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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