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Mayor Donald R. Grebien and members of Pawtucket’s Polish community gathered at Pawtucket City Hall on Friday October 14, 2016, to raise the Polish flag in honor of National Polish American Heritage Month. The month of October marks the anniversary of the first Polish settlers in Jamestown Virginia in 1608.
The ceremony, held in the City Hall lobby in partnership with the Polish Heritage Committee, featured a short speaking program. The speakers shared a message of hope for the future and the need to get our youth involved in our community. They also spoke to their belief in the importance of educating youth of Polish descent about their heritage. The need to come together in unity as a community was another theme of the event.
Mayor Grebien spoke to his own Polish heritage and his pride in the diverse mix of cultural backgrounds throughout the Pawtucket community. “It is truly important that we teach our children about where they come from and their ancestors that came before them, so that they appreciate where they are and where their community is going as we build a better future together,” said Grebien. The Mayor noted a number of contributions that the Polish community has made to Pawtucket, including that Polish immigrants were some of the first skilled laborers in Pawtucket who help fuel the American Industrial Revolution. Mayor Grebien also noted that October 14th marked the anniversary of the establishment of the first ministry of education in Poland in 1773, and that the commitment of members of Pawtucket’s Polish community to education still resonates in our great city today.
Participants in the ceremony sang the Polish and American National Anthems as the flag was raised in front of City Hall. After the flag raising, the crowd gathered in the lobby to share refreshments and conversation.
- Mayor Donald R. Grebien