Kosciuszko Day at West Point. Field Trip for kids from local schools co-sponsored by Pulaski Association of Business
Published on April 19, 2023
The United States Military Academy at West Point will become the site of the Tadeusz Kosciuszko Day celebration on Saturday May 6, 2023. This will be preceded by an academic conference dedicated to the hero of two nations, which will be held the day before.
The event is organized by the American Society of Friends of Kosciuszko at West Point, whose founder and president is Professor Anthony Bajdek. It was created and registered in Massachusetts in 2003 by Prof. Bajdek, dean and lecturer in history at Northeastern University in Boston.
"Kosciuszko Day at West Point is a beautiful celebration, the main attraction is the military parade also called cadet review. It is an event that should be seen by everyone who is close to the Polish-American heritage and the legacy of Tadeusz Kościuszko in the USA especially the youth. This year, the Pulaski Association of Business and Professional Men and the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union decided to pay for the buses that will take several hundred students associated in the Polish Supplementary Schools and in the Polish-English bilingual program from P.S. 34 In Greenpoint to see the celbrations at West Point - says Grzegorz Fryc, president of the Pulaski Association. “We want children to learn as much as possible about Tadeusz Kościuszko, a hero of two nations, and to understand his heritage through the experience of the place he built, which is the American Military Academy at West Point. It is a great history lesson and it will be a fun day for all. ”
This will be the first event involving children from both Polish Supplementary Schools and the bilingual program, which makes the sponsors of this trip very happy.
- Kosciuszko served at West Point long before the Military Academy was founded. Now we honor his memory there annually as an American and Polish hero - said Colonel Steve Olejasz, vice president of the American Friends of Kosciuszko Association at West Point.
Kosciuszko Day Celebrations at West Point have a long tradition but the current format have been introduced 20 years ago. In addition to the ceremonies on the grounds of the U.S. Military Academy the Kosciuszko Conference was added. The conference is held annually in the form of an all-day seminar at the Thayer Hotel on the Academy grounds. University scholars, historians, military officers from Poland and other NATO members , ambassadors, defense ministries, West Point lecturers are regular guests at the event. All seek to shed light on Kosciuszko's life and times in the United States, as well as in Poland, and discuss contemporary security issues facing NATO, the European Union and the United States.
Celebrations in honor of the heroic general are held annually at the site where the world's oldest Kosciuszko Monument stands. It was founded through a voluntary fundraising campaign among members of the Cadet Corps of the Military Academy and dedicated on July 4, 1828. Tadeusz Kosciuszko was chosen as the Academy's hero by its cadets. Since then, ceremonies have been held every year to honor the Polish hero, who fought for the independence of the United States.
Tadeusz Kosciuszko was the initiator of the founding of the Military Academy at West Point. General George Washington believed that West Point was the most important defensive position on the entire North American continent, which is why he chose this place to build the fort. In 1778 Kosciuszko, who was also a military engineer, designed the fortifications. He was entrusted with the project because there was already a buzz about the contribution of his fortification work to the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga in the fall of 1777. The Academy itself opened to cadets on July 4, 1802.
Text: Iwona Hejmej
Get to know the Polish-American hero
Parents or students who want to go to West Point for the Tadeusz Kosciuszko Memorial Day celebration are asked to register with their local school or register on their own at the West Point Visitors Center.
All non DOD ID Card holders must obtain a pass through the Visitor Control Center (VCC) in order to enter the West Point Military Installation. Visitors attending the Kosciuszko Memorial Ceremony and related events should apply for a Visitor Pass 2 weeks in advance. The VCC is located in the West Point Visitors Center Building in Highland Falls, NY. The phone number to the VCC is (845) 938-0390. Please see their website for access and identification requirements for obtaining a pass: