THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
GENERAL PULASKI MEMORIAL DAY, 1998
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Two hundred nineteen years ago, General Casimir Pulaski selflessly gave his life on an American battlefield, far from his native soil, in a struggle dedicated to the principles of freedom and self-governance. Each year on October 11, America solemnly marks the anniversary of the death of this hero, a man whose devotion to liberty recognized no national boundary.
Born in Poland in 1747, Pulaski first joined the fight against tyranny and oppression at his father's side, defending their beloved homeland against Prussian and Imperial Russian aggression. At the age of 21, Pulaski took command of a detachment of rebel forces and proved his valor and strategic skill as he led freedom fighters into numerous battles. Struggling against insurmountable odds, he and his fellow rebels were ultimately defeated, and Pulaski was forced into exile.
Carrying the cause of freedom to foreign shores, Pulaski came to America to offer his services to George Washington in our country's struggle for independence. He wrote to General Washington, "I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it." He proved true to his word. Washington was so impressed with Pulaski's abilities during the battle of Brandywine Creek that he recommended that the Continental Congress appoint Pulaski as general of the American cavalry. Pulaski and the special infantry and cavalry unit he formed fought bravely at the front lines of the Revolutionary War. And during the siege of Savannah, Casimir Pulaski gave his life so that our Nation might live in freedom.
Every year on this date, Americans across our country commemorate General Pulaski and draw inspiration from his life and the principles for which he fought. As we reflect on how far liberty and democracy have advanced across the globe, we know that General Pulaski's gallant and determined spirit continues to live. It is this very spirit that kept alive the dream of freedom in the hearts and minds of the Polish people during the darkest days of Nazi and Communist oppression. Today, thanks to the enduring resolve and sacrifices of modern heroes following Pulaski's example, Europe is free, and the United States and Poland, as staunch friends and future NATO allies, look forward to a new millennium bright with the prospects of peace and prosperity.
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 Sunday, October 11, 1998, as General Pulaski Memorial Day. I encourage all Americans to commemorate this occasion with appropriate programs and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of tober, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-third.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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