BALTIMORE, Md. - A festive gathering of Polonia commemorated the 228th birthday of U.S. General Casimir Pulaski (his portrait is displayed below to the left) here on March 11, 2007 (March 4th is the actual birthday). The annual ceremony and reception, sponsored by the General Casimir Pulaski Post 209 of the Polish Legion of American Veterans (PLAV), took place in the Great Hall of the Polish National Alliance (the photo of the building is showed below), Council 21. Post 209's Color Guard was in fine form and performed its various formal maneuvers admirably and with panache. The Krakowiaki Dancers provided assistance and much ethnic color to the event. Frank Lanocha, Maryland President of the Polish American Congress, delivered a very interesting and informative dissertation on Gen. Pulaski's life and times that covered historical data that usually goes unremarked upon. The memory of Gen. Pulaski was well served on this day by all of the participants and audience.
Gold Medal of Polish Armed Forces Awarded: The recent General Casimir Pulaski birthday ceremonies in Baltimore took on an added special significance when Commander Raymond J. Dombrowski (pictured above, left), Polish Legion of American Veterans - General Casimir Pulaski Post 209, was awarded the esteemed Gold Medal of the Polish Armed Forces by Brigadier General Kazimierz Sikorski (at right), Military Attache at the Embassy of Poland. Dombrowski was recognized for fostering and growing fraternal relations between Poland and America by preserving and promoting their shared military traditions and history.
A most fortunate event occurred when Brigadier General Kazimierz Sikorski, Military Attache at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, D.C. - attended by Lt. Col. Krzysztof Zielski and Vice-Consul Pawel Bogdziewicz - presented Commander Raymond J. Dombrowski, of Post 209, with the much coveted Gold Medal of the Polish Armed Forces (Zloty Medal Wojska Polskiego). Dombrowski was overcome with emotion during the bestowing of the medal upon his person; he then profoundly thanked the General and Polish military for recognizing him with this high honor. Gen. Sikorski proudly noted that Dombrowski is the first person in the United States to receive the medal's Gold (First Class) classification; to date only the Silver (Second Class) and Bronze (Third Class) have been previously awarded to other Americans.
The Medal of the Polish Armed Forces, created by Poland's Sejm (parliament) in 1999, is awarded only to foreigners or Poles permanently living abroad, being either civilian or military persons, for a variety of stated special achievements and military efforts serving the positive and fraternal international interests of the Polish Armed Forces (PAF). Included in the award qualifications for the medal is the recognition of special efforts in the field of promoting the PAF's history and tradition in any international or foreign community.
Maryland legislator Delegate Carolyn Krysiak took good advantage of the proceedings to additionally present Dombrowski with a House of Delegates Citation. It congratulated him, with the House's profound gratitude, for his many years of outstanding service to the State of Maryland and his dedication to the traditions and the pride of the Polish-American Community. With his beaming wife Esther looking on, Dombrowski expressed his gratitude for this special recognition from the elected representatives of the people of his state.
All-in-all, everyone agreed that it had turned out to be a very good day for Pulaski, Dombrowski, Poland and America.