he National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa is not only a place of prayer and worship but also of historical remembrance. Many veterans have been buried on the military section of our cemetery (often called “Polish Arlington”). Still more continue to make a pilgrimage here in thanksgiving for their service and protection. Annually we have few celebrations that commemorate different groups of Polish-American Veterans such as:
- Polish Doomed Soldiers Remembrance Day (March)
- Katyn & Smolensk Mass (April or May)
- Polish Soldiers Day (August)
- All Souls Day Procession (October or November)
- Polish Independence Day (November)
Each year around the anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw (August 15, 1920) at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa we are celebrating Polish Soldiers Day when all gather to pay their respect to the Polish Soldiers who sacrificed their lives “for our freedom and yours” during World War II and other wars.
The veteran’s mission is to honor the men and women of Poland’s armed forces while simultaneously demonstrating solidarity with them and to pay homage to their fallen and deceased comrades-in-arms.
There are many uniformed participants from the greater regional area gathered together for the formal ceremonies. The groups represented, in various formations, were: the Polish Army Veterans Association of America (S.W.A.P. = Polish acronym), along with its Ceremonial Rifle Squad and Women’s Auxiliary; Polish Combat Veterans of WW II (S.P.K. = Polish acronym); The Pulaski Cadets; and Polish Boy/Girl Scouts.
Together, they presented a most impressive sight when assembled in long formation for review – and their rainbow of many colorful national and military flags served to dramatically brighten up the grey sky.
The next Polish Soldiers Day will be observed on: SUNDAY, AUGUST 18, 2019
he Polish Army Veterans Association in America was formed in 1921 to aid Polish veterans who returned to the United States after Poland’s liberation. Currently its members are WWII and present Polish army veterans who settled in USA and Canada. Its purpose is to assist veterans, organize meetings, publish historical texts, and oversee its museum in New York City.
The Polish Military Heritage Museum in New York is located on the 4th floor of the Polish Veterans Home in Manhattan at 119 East 15th Street.