Polish American Congress and WW1
Over 300,000 Polish Americans served in the armed forces of the United States during World War I, with an additional 24,000 volunteering to the Polish Army in France. Fighting valiantly throughout the battlefields of Europe alongside our allies, Americans brought with them the Blessings of Liberty and Poland re-emerged as a free nation!
Uniting the Polish American Community throughout the United States since its founding in 1944, the Polish American Congress is the umbrella organization of our nation’s Polish American civic, social, fraternal, professional, cultural, educational, religious and veteran, charitable and not-for-profit organizations and individuals.
In September 2016, The Council of National Directors resolved to encourage all Polish Americans to commemorate the World War I Centennial, and established the Polish American Congress World War I Centennial Committee to promote and coordinate commemorative events and projects throughout the country.
As an official commemorative partner with the Commission, all Polish Americans are welcomed to utilize these sites!
Pay Tribute to Our Great Polish American Ancestors
and commemorate their contributions made in this
Our Great American Heritage
- INTRODUCTION -
Centennial Address Delivered at Saint Adalbert's Basilica, Buffalo, NY
On April 1-4 of 1917, still before the U.S. entered the war, the Polish Falcons held a Special General Convention in Pittsburgh to receive an appeal from the Champion of Liberty*, Ignacy Jan Paderewski. In his address, Paderewski called for a 100,000 strong Kosciuszko Army to fight along side the American Army. The idea was rejected by U.S. authorities as it was against policy to have a foreign army on U.S. soil. Two weeks later, on April 17, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany.
IN THE U.S. POSAGE STAMP SERIES HONORING “CHAMPIONS OF LIBERTY”, TWO POSTAGE STAMPS WERE ISSUED HONORING IGNACY PADERSEWSKI, in 1960, a 4 cent and an 8 cent version.
Paderewski was instrumental in organizing America’s Volunteers to the Polish Army of France, and in influencing President Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points that lead to the Rebirth of Poland at the armistice of WWI. In the spring of 1941 the artist became ill with pneumonia; he died in New York City on 29 June 1941. By a unique Act of Congress, he was interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Upon Poland’s Freedom, the 4th Republic, in 1992, his body was brought to Warsaw and placed in St. John's Archcathedral. His heart is encased in a bronze sculpture in the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa near Doylestown, Pennsylvania.