Faithful to the Memory of Great Poles
by Barbara Aleksandrowicz
This Polish language article first appeared in the NOWY DZIENNIK, June 30, 2003 issue, page 16
Barbara Alexandrowicz is a graduate of the Mining and Metallurgical Academy (A.G.H.) in Krakow, who came to the United States in 1987. She is the treasurer for the Polish American Congress, New Jersey Northern Division, and the chairwoman of the fundraising committee. She writes for the Polish-language daily NOWY DZIENNIK, the English-language POST EAGLE and other publications. With her husband, Zbigniew, she operates a computer business called "PC Complex." They are the proud parents of two daughters: Jessica (12) and Samantha (10). A poet and member of American Poets Academy, Sensations Club, Famous Poets Society and International Society of Poets she recently founded the Polish American Poets Academy (a new club for poets). In addition to being the vice-president of Polska Biblioteka of Polish American Congress of North New Jersey, she is a CCD teacher.
According to Walter Lesinski the current NOWY DZIENNIK is a greately improved newspaper thanks to the influx younger journalists from Poland, "[as for] the coverage of the Polish American community, I find the coverage in the Polish language is better then in some of the English [language] Polish American weeklies."
"I was born in the USA to a family of emigrants from Poland and matters concerning my countrymen were always close to me. I was especially interested in the histories of those Poles who fell on the field of glory in America. I would like to preserve their memory forever," said Edward Pinkowski, resident of Cooper City, Florida.
Pinkowski, educated as a historian, journalist and writer became famous because he had spent many years of his life in establishing the last residence of Tadeusz Kosciuszko [in America] and locating the grave of Kazimierz Pulaski. He is also interested in the fates of other Poles, often forgotten, who have made notable contributions onto the pages of American history. Notably, he invested a lot of effort into finding the burial place of Pulaski. He found a stone with the general's engraved name and date of his death about 100 meters from the Greenwich river in the tiny locality of Deadwood, called a "ghost town" by the locals.
Pinkowski was able to establish that General Pulaski died on October 15, 1779 at noon due to wounds received at Savannah, Georgia, in battle with the enemy, and buried under the cover of darkness. The coffin was borne by slaves under the command of Captain Samuel Bulfinch. The general's body was buried a scant three miles from the British camp. "When I found the grave I decided that a memorial tablet be placed where 225 years earlier Pulaski expressed his readiness to lay down his life for American freedom," stressed Pinkowski.
The ceremony of presenting the bronze plaque memorializing General Kazimierz Pulaski took place on august 11, 2002 at Moland House in Warwick Township, Pennsylvania, on the 225th anniversary of Pulaski's Meeting with General Washington. Crowds gathered at Moland House to witness this great event. At the house, as in days of yore, were General Pulaski accompanied by Washington. Also present were Benjamin Franklin, Lafayette and other persons from their milieu. An orchestra played the Polish and American anthems. There were shouted orders, a musket company [assembled], and a musket salute was fired. Then the words from the bronze plaque were read:
On August 20, 1777, while the main body of Washington's army was encamped around this stone dwelling on Little Neshaminy Creek, a Polish nobleman, born Kazimierz (Casimir) Pulaski in Warsaw, Poland, on March 6, 1745, arrived and presented a letter from Benjamin Franklin to General Washington, whom he met here for the first time, offering to fight and die for American freedom.
Pulaski also delivered a letter to Lafayette from his wife in France. Lafayette had recently joined the encampment where he received the rank of major general. The following day Washington and Lafayette both wrote letters of introduction here for Pulaski to take to the Continental Congress which, several weeks later, appointed him the first general of the cavalry forces. The Polish general lost his life on October 15, 1779, six days after he was wounded in the siege of Savannah, Georgia.
Gift of Edward Pinkowski, August 2002
January 31, 2003, was another important day for Edward Pinkowski because on that day he received from the American Institute of Polish Culture, an institute for Polish Americans, an important award, the Distinguished Service award, for preserving the memory of great Poles and publicizing their deeds. His happiness was tinged by the disaster of Space Shuttle Columbia. Pinkowski remembers that day as, "January 31, 2003 was to be a happy day for me. I was then in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I was to receive an award when I heard about the disaster of Space Shuttle Columbia. My great joy of receiving the award was overshadowed by a great sadness. It happened that the search for the fragments of Columbia reminded me of how 33 years earlier I was in Texas looking for traces of [a town named after] General Pulaski."
Wallace West. president of the Institute, presented the award calling Edward Pinkowski "another star" in a "galaxy of eminent Americans who have significantly contributed to enhancing the image of Poles in America."
In the past this award had been given to, among others, the still grieved after Jan Karski; W. S. Kuniczak, author of the well known book "The Thousand Hour Day"; Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, who from the hands of the American president received the highest civil decoration; and Dr. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, president of the Polish Club in Sarasota, Florida. Pinkowski was congratulated by Przemyslaw Grudzinski, the Polish Ambassador who was also present at the ceremony.
"I would very much like for Americans to remember our great countrymen who contributed to this nation, often giving up their lives; but even more I would like that Poles would remember them, " said Pinkowski.
Edward Pinkowski is the author of several historical books, among them, "Washington's Officers Slept Here," "Forgotten Fathers," "Lattimer Massacre," "History of Bridgeport, PA," and "Anthony Sadowski -- Polish Pioneer."