Home > News > Content

Polish Heritage Month Begins With Flag Raising In Northampton

Oct 03, 2017

flag supplier-johnin

The Polish flag was raised above Memorial Hall at 240 Main St. as the city begins a month-long celebration of Polish heritage.

Northampton's Polish Heritage Committee, which is marking its 31st year, was on hand for the flag raising.

On Monday, Oct. 9, there will be a Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church on King St. followed by the 31st annual Pulaski Day Parade.

The parade led by Grand Marshal Rep. Peter Kocot D-Northampton, will step off from the former Blyda/Lia lot on King Street at 11 a.m. and march to Pulaski Park on Main Street for a commemorative ceremony. 

The parade honors the contributions made by Gen. Casimir Pulaski, a Polish soldier who -- at the urging of Benjamin Franklin -- emigrated to Massachusetts in order to fight with the American colonists against the British in 1777.

Pulaski wrote to Gen. George Washington, "I came here, where freedom is being defended, to serve it, and to live or die for it."

He distinguished himself in battle and was awarded the rank of general in the Continental Army.

Pulaski, who died from wounds received at the Battle of Savannah, is Pulaski is one of only eight people to be awarded honorary U.S. citizenship.

Among those marching in the parade for the first time will be members of the recently-appointed Special Commission to Preserve Polish Heritage in the Pioneer Valley, a state legislative initiative sponsored and championed by Kocot and other local legislators with support from the Polish Heritage Committee.

Among local groups marching with Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz and other city officials will be the Northampton Lions Club, Forbes Library, Northampton Neighbors, the Northampton Senior Center, the Northampton Fire Rescue Department, Smith Vocational High School, the Northampton Veterans Council, St. Valentine's Polish National Catholic Church, the Hampshire County Sheriff's Department led by Sheriff Patrick Cahillane, and a horse-drawn wagon from the Three County Fair.

 Among out-of-town contingents will be the Polish National Credit Union and the Polish Discovery Center, both of Chicopee and the Immaculate Conception Children's Polish Class of Indian Orchard.