Pulaski a President Away from Becoming U.S. Citizen - NBC Chicago

Pulaski a President Away from Becoming U.S. Citizen

Senate passes resolution, awaits Obama signature



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    Brigadier Gen. Casimir Pulaski was a famed cavalry officer and freedom fighter in Poland who joined the American Revolutionary War effort and became a hero.

    Casimir Pulaski is almost an American citizen. Officially.

    A resolution proclaiming the Polish military officer who fought with the Americans during the Revolutionary War an honorary citizen of the United States was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate, Sen. Dick Durbin announced Friday.

    The legislation passed the House of Representatives earlier this month and will now go to President Obama for his signature, a release from Durbin's office said.

    Pulaski, who already has his own holiday in Illinois, died during a battle in Savannah, Georgia, in October of 1779.

    “Casimir Pulaski made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of American freedom,” Durbin said. “When we think of our nation’s struggle for freedom in its infancy, we must remember General Casimir Pulaski and his indelible contribution to our nation’s birth.”

    Pulaski was recommended by Benjamin Franklin to join the American Calvary under George Washington. He was elevated to Brigadier General on September 15, 1777—just four days after Pulaski saved Washington’s life and averted defeat at the Battle of Brandywine. In 1779, he fought the British in Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. It was as a result of his actions in Savannah that he died.

    This is just one of many honors Pulaski has been bestowed over the years. In September, 1929, Congress designated October 11 as Pulaski Day; it also authorized the Post Office to issue a Pulaski commemorative stamp. In 1973, Illinois designated the first Monday of March as Pulaski Commemorative day in Illinois and in 1986 declared the day to be a state holiday.

    Pulaski would join six others who have declared honorary citizens of the United States. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1963; Frenchman Marquis de la Fayette, who supported the American Revolution; Swedish diplomat and Holocaust hero Raoul Wallenberg; Pennsylvania co-founder and governor William Callowhill Penn and his wife Hannah; and Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu—better known as Mother Teresa.