90 Years of United States-Polish Diplomatic Relations



Today, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) celebrating 90 years of United States-Polish diplomatic relations and congratulating the Polish people on their role in advancing freedom and democracy around the world.


Congressman Lipinski urged passage of House Resolution 266 on the House floor, noting Poland’s successful struggle against communism, the leadership of figures such as Pope John Paul II, the strong ties of friendship between the United States and Poland, and the strong Polish presence in the Chicago area. His statement appears below and can be viewed online at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp-aZ1vLi0w.


“Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise today in strong support of H. Res. 266, celebrating 90 years of diplomatic relations between the United States and Poland, and recognizing Poland’s critical role in advancing freedom and democracy across the globe.


We must never forget Lech Walesa’s leadership inside Poland and Pope John Paul II’s leadership from outside Poland, which helped lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the wall separating the East and West, and the freedom that that brought to so many hundreds of millions of people around the world.


As a Polish-American, as co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Poland, and as someone who represents part of the most Polish city outside of Poland, I am especially proud to sponsor this resolution.  I would like to thank the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Smith, for working with me on this resolution and on other important issues.


In addition to marking the 90th anniversary of U.S.-Poland diplomatic relations, this year also marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism in Poland, the 10th anniversary of Poland’s accession to NATO, and the 5th anniversary of Poland’s membership in the European Union.


Ninety years ago, there were already 150,000 Polish immigrants in and around Chicago. The Polish American Association recently noted that following World War II, “Polish-Americans made up a large part of the countless families moving into Chicago suburbs, especially southwest suburbs such as Oak Lawn and Hickory Hills [and] western suburbs like Berwyn and Lyons.” These are all areas I represent, and such communities are one reason our countries are so close.


Poland’s struggle against communism and its emergence as a free and democratic nation are a great chapter in the history of the 20th Century. In recent years, Poland has strongly supported the United States diplomatically and militarily, helping to combat global terrorism and contributing troops to the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this resolution and in conveying America’s thanks to the Polish people. Poland has been one of our best friends and strongest allies. We must honor this relationship and make sure to continue it and work to strengthen it with great respect.”


Just last week, Congressman Lipinski helped pass a House resolution proclaiming Casimir Pulaski to be an honorary U.S. citizen posthumously, citing his renowned heroism in fighting on the side of the American colonists against the British in the American Revolutionary War. For more information, visit www.lipinski.house.gov.