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For Immediate Release October 8, 1996


October 1996

Warm greetings to everyone observing Polish American Heritage Month.

Many Americans proudly trace their roots to Poland, a land whose rich and colorful past is rivaled only by the bright promise of its future. This month, as we celebrate the many contributions that Americans of Polish heritage have made to our nation's history and culture, we also reaffirm the strong and friendly ties between the United States and Poland.

Before America became a nation, Poles came to these shores in search of liberty and opportunity, and their descendants have remained at the forefront of efforts to keep America free, strong, and prosperous. This year we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great Polish hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who helped secure the independence of our fledgling republic during the Revolutionary War. Since that time, millions of other men and women of Polish descent have invested their hopes in America's bold experiment in self-government and, inspired by faith in God and a devotion to democratic ideals, have worked hard to ensure its success.

The deep cultural and familial ties between the peoples of the United States and Poland have been strengthened by our shared values and aspirations. For generations, Poles have demonstrated the same reverence for individual rights and dignity that infuses our own system of government. The United States supports Poland's democratic transition and her people's efforts to establish a pluralistic society and a free market economy. Poland and the United States are building a new security for the twenty-first century, working together to prepare for NATO's enlargement in an undivided Europe.

As we observe Polish American Heritage Month, I join all Americans in thanking our fellow citizens of Polish descent for their countless contributions to the strength and quality of our national life. Best wishes to all for a memorable celebration.


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