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When our ancestors boldly declared America's Independence, the hopes of countless people around the world went with them. Among those who understood the significance of America's struggle for liberty and self-government was the daring Polish patriot, Casimir Pulaski.

Before he journeyed to the United States and volunteered to join the Continental Army, Casimir Pulaski had fought to free his native Poland from tyranny and foreign domination. His devotion to the cause of liberty cost him dearly -- forced into exile, the young Count had to leave behind both his personal fortune and his beloved homeland. Yet Count Pulaski never relinquished his belief in the universal cause of freedom. He reportedly wrote to General George Washington: "I came here, where Freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it.'' With those words, Casimir Pulaski expressed his determination to stand in solidarity with the American colonists.

An experienced and highly skilled tactician, Count Pulaski was named a General in the Continental Army and was eventually given command of his own cavalry unit. From the time he volunteered for service until his last day in command of the Pulaski Legion, this lifelong freedom fighter participated in a number of important campaigns -- including Brandywine, Germantown, and Trenton. Leading a bold charge during the siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779, he was mortally wounded. He died two days later and was buried at sea.

Were he alive today, Pulaski would find his dreams fulfilled, the cause of freedom won. The ideals of liberty and representative government that were planted on these shores more than 200 years ago have taken root around the world. Under a new, democratic government, the Polish people have begun working to break the cycle of impoverishment and decline imposed by nearly half a century of totalitarian rule. The United States wholeheartedly supports their courageous and determined efforts to establish a market-oriented economy and stable democratic rule.

On this occasion, as we remember General Pulaski's extraordinary contributions to our country, we also pay tribute to our friends in Poland and to the many Americans of Polish descent who have labored and sacrificed to uphold the cause of freedom. Their faithfulness and resolve, like that of General Pulaski, offers a worthy example to us all.

Now, Therefore, I George Bush, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 11, 1991, as General Pulaski Memorial Day. I direct the appropriate government officials to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on that day, and I encourage the people of the United States to commemorate this occasion as appropriate throughout the land.

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

George Bush

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:02 p.m., September 10, 1991] Note: This proclamation was published in the Federal Register of September 12.

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