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Mr. KUCINICH. Thank you, Mr. Weiner, and I want to thank Mr. Poe, Mr. King, and Mr. Kingston for their support, as well as Ranking Member Smith, along with Chairwoman Lofgren and Chairman Conyers for their thoughtful consideration and support to ensure floor consideration of this bill.
As a sponsor of H.J. Res. 26, legislation to grant honorary citizenship to Casimir Pulaski posthumously, I rise in strong support and urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill. I also wish to extend my deep gratitude to the Polish community leaders in Cleveland, Ohio, who have long championed this cause. In Cleveland this includes John Borkowski, who's the president of the Polish American Congress; Mitchell Bienia, vice president of the Polish American Congress; and Francis Rutkowski, also vice president of the Polish American Congress.
Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski was a hero of the American Revolution.
Casimir Pulaski left his native Poland and fought on the side of the colonists against the British in the American Revolution. Although Pulaski met his untimely death on the battlefield in Savannah, Georgia, in 1779, consideration of this bill in his honor is timely because October 11, 2009, will mark the 230th anniversary of Pulaski's last breath.
Indeed, after bravely fighting at Brandywine and ejecting the British occupiers from Charleston, among other battles, General Pulaski was mortally wounded in Savannah, Georgia, and was taken aboard the American ship, USS Wasp, where he died at sea on October 11, 1779.
Casimir Pulaski's courageous charge in this engagement averted a disastrous defeat of the American Cavalry and is credited with saving the life of George Washington. On September 15, 1777, George Washington bestowed the rank of brigadier general on Pulaski, who organized a legion of cavalry known as the Pulaski legion.
Brigadier General Pulaski was a dedicated freedom fighter who's credited with being the Father of the American Cavalry. He famously said: ``I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it.''
His actions speak to the strong bonds that have historically existed between the people of the United States and the
people of Poland. They are also a reminder of the important contributions of Polish Americans to our Nation and communities.
This legislation is supported by the Polish Legion of American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., and the Polish American Congress.
It is my sincere hope that Brigadier General Pulaski will not have to wait any longer before he is bestowed with this honorary citizenship he so deserves for his sincere commitment and ultimate sacrifice for freedom for the people of the United States of America. With passage of this legislation, this body will ensure that General Pulaski is one step closer to receiving the honor and appreciation he deserves.
I urge my colleagues to support this important legislation granting honorary citizenship to Casimir Pulaski posthumously.
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