Polish May 3rd Constitution Day
Kosciuszko Statue at Cleveland Museum of Art May 5, 2013
The Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791 was the first constitution to follow the 1788 ratification of the United States Constitution. May 3 was restored as an official Polish holiday in April 1990, after the fall of communism. It is celebrated in Cleveland with events including this ceremony by the Kosciuszko Statue at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
The Sons of the American Revolution led marchers including General George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, President Garfield, Eleanor Roosevelt and Polish children in costume to the steps of the Cleveland Museum of Art to begin the program at the Tadeusz Kosciuszko statue on Polish Constitution Day.
They then sang the United States and Polish national anthems.
Rev. Eric Orzech, Chaplain, Polish American Congress Ohio Division and National Vice-President of Polish American Priests Association gave the invocation.
Rev. Eric Orzech
General George Washington (reenactor) spoke about Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Kosciuszko and the role that he played in the American Revolution.
General George Washington (reenactor)
Ben Stefanski introduced Dr. Vik Stankus of the Ohio Lithuanian community who told of the close relationship between Poland, Lithuania and Hungary.
Dr. Vik Stankus
Cleveland City Councilman Anthony Brancatelli spoke next.
Councilman Anthony Brancatelli
Judge Ray Pianka told about the Hejnal and the Polish National Anthem at a celebration of Polish Constitution Day at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Judge Pianka told why the Hejnal musical piece stops so abruptly. Bill Rayer played the Hejnal a little later in the program that honored Thaddeus Kosciuszko.
Judge Ray Pianka
William Rayer playing the Hejnal
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Ben Stefanski introduced Julian Stanczak at the 2013 celebration of Polish Constitution Day and the unveiling of the Kosciuszko monument at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Julian Stanczak was born in Poland and became a famous painter and printmaker in Cleveland Ohio and the world. He is being recognized with an honorary doctorate degree from Case Western Reserve University along with Peter B. Lewis.
The ceremony continued with speeches and performances.
Cleveland Chief of Regional Development Ed Rybka
Paderewski School Girl recites poem
The crowd marched to the statue of Thaddeus Kosciuszko.
Gene Bak, Executive Director of the Polish American Cultural Center, commemorated the Polish Constitution of May 3rd and the unveiling of the Kosciuszko monument at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Enjoy these images of the performers from Gorale of PNA, PIAST of PRCUA and the Paderewski School.