Reps. Kosowski, Allor, Barrett, Cochran, Greig, Kelly, Maturen, Phelps and Sneller offered the following resolution:
House Resolution No. 415.
A resolution to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the restoration of independence of the Republic of Poland.
Whereas, The people of Michigan and the Polish nation enjoy a deep and abiding relationship rooted in kinship and cultural and economic ties, with millions of Michiganders proudly tracing their roots to Poland; and
Whereas, In 1795, Poland was partitioned among the Prussia, Russia, and Austro-Hungarian Empires, taking away the Polish nation’s independence and right to self-rule for the next 123 years; and
Whereas, Upon being granted statehood in 1837, the state of Michigan welcomed many oppressed Polish immigrants who became and remain a large and vital part of this state’s rich history; and
Whereas, During this period of bondage, the slogan “For Our Freedom and Yours” became the battle cry of Poles throughout the world, enshrining the message that no country has the right to exploit, enslave, and oppress another nation and that each nation is entitled to self-rule; and
Whereas, During the First World War in 1917, the Allies united behind the Polish cause by issuing a decree establishing the Polish Army in France, known as the “Blue Army”; and
Whereas, In April 1917, the renowned Polish statesman and pianist, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, submitted a proposal to the U.S. House of Representatives to accept Polish-American volunteers for service on the Western Front in the name of Poland’s independence; and
Whereas, Nearly 25,000 Polish immigrants in the United States of America, including many women, volunteered and joined over 60,000 other Poles in France as a constituent part of the Allies, of which over 2,000 were from Michigan; and
Whereas, In the crucial, final weeks of the Great War, the Blue Army, under the command of General Jozef Haller, distinguished itself on the battlefields in the Champagne Region, at Rheims, Roche Mère Henry, Alsace, Nancy in Lorraine, Marne, and in the defense of Paris; and
Whereas, After the United States of America entered the Great War in support of the Allies, of the first 100,000 volunteers to the U.S. Army who responded to President Wilson’s call to military service, 40,000 were American citizens of Polish descent, many of whom were from Michigan; and
Whereas, President Woodrow Wilson, influenced by the heroic efforts of Polish-Americans on behalf of Poland’s cause, on January 8, 1918, announced his famous Fourteen Points as the basis for peace in Europe, with Point 13 referring to the reconstruction of an independent Poland “with an outlet to the sea and an international guarantee of its independence and integrity”; and
Whereas, On November 11, 1918, Germany signed the Armistice with the Allies, thereby ending the war and also released from prison Jozef Pilsudski, who was proclaimed the Commander in Chief of the Polish forces by the Regency Council; and
Whereas, On behalf of the newly resurrected Polish nation, Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski signed the Treaty of Versailles, which formally recognized the reemergence of Poland as a sovereign and independent nation; and
Whereas, On November 11, 2018, the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Poland’s independence is recognized; and
Whereas, This legislative body is pleased to have this opportunity to recognize such events of significance which foster pride and exemplify the cultural diversity that represents and strengthens the fabric of the people of the state of Michigan; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the members of this legislative body commemorate the 100th anniversary of the restoration of independence of the Republic of Poland. We reaffirm the bonds of friendship and cooperation which have existed between the United States of America, the state of Michigan, and the Republic of Poland for the past 100 years.