THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
GENERAL PULASKI MEMORIAL DAY, 1997
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In times of peace and at moments of great crisis, America has been blessed with the steadfast support of friends from other nations. Few have proved their friendship with more courage and generosity than Casimir Pulaski, who paid for America's independence with his own life.
As a son of Poland, Pulaski knew well the desire for freedom and self-determination. He fought bravely beside his father and brothers in his native land, defending Poland from the aggression of neighboring empires with such skill and valor that he was known throughout Europe for his military exploits. Ultimately outnumbered by opposing forces, he escaped to France, where he met Benjamin Franklin and offered his services in behalf of the American Revolution.
Upon his arrival in America, Pulaski told General Washington that he had come to defend liberty and "to live or die for her." True to his word, he fought valiantly as a brigadier general in our Continental Army and made the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation's freedom during the siege of Savannah.
More than two centuries later, Americans and Poles alike remember with pride and gratitude the outstanding service General Pulaski gave to both his native and adopted lands. Today the United States and Poland enjoy freedom, prosperity, and the prospect for a bright future as allies in NATO, thanks to the unwavering commitment of patriots and heroes like Casimir Pulaski.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, 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 Saturday, October 11, 1997, as General Pulaski Memorial Day. I encourage all Americans to commemorate this occasion with appropriate programs and activities paying tribute to Casimir Pulaski and his contributions to the cause of American freedom.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-second.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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