Obama Makes Pulaski an Honorary American Citizen

Brigadier General Kazimierz Pulaski has been granted honorary posthumous United States citizenship. On Friday, 6 November, President Barack Obama signed a joint House of Representatives and Senate resolution that granted Pulaski honorary citizenship for his service during the American Revolutionary War.

Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously voted to grant the Polish war hero honorary citizenship, after which the Senate also approved the resolution, before President Obama signed it into law.

Dennis Kucinich, a Polish American from Cleveland, Ohio, originally brought up the resolution in the House of Representatives in 2005. The legislative process started at that time has finally come to a close, 230 years after Pulaski’s death.

Only six other individuals have been granted honorary citizenship by the United States, including Mother Teresa, Winston Churchill, and the French General La Fayette.

Pulaski first fought for the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth against Russia, before emigrating to the U.S. to fight against the British on behalf of the colonists. He is known as the “Father of the American Cavalry”, and fought at Brandywine and Charleston, South Carolina, among others, before being mortally wounded at the battle of Savannah, Georgia on 11 October 1779, at the age of 34.

Benjamin Franklin recommended George Washington to accept Pulaski as a volunteer, and Pulaski later rewarded the decision by saving Washington’s life at Brandywine in 1777. After the battle, Pulaski was promoted by Washington to the rank of Brigadier General of the cavalry. He went on to form the Pulaski Cavalry Legion in 1779.

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