HARTFORD - Poland may be thousands of miles away from Connecticut, but the local Polish community did not have to travel that far to commemorate the 228th anniversary of the Polish Constitution.
Polish food, awards and performances highlighted the celebration of the 28th Polish Day at the state Capitol.
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz of Berlin, Attorney General William Tong, state Sen. Gennaro Bizzarro of New Britain, state Rep. Peter Tercyak of New Britain and former New Britain Mayor Lucian Pawlak were among those who showed up to celebrate Polish heritage.
“It is such an honor and a pleasure to be here to help celebrate Polish Day,” Bysiewicz said. “I can’t think of a better thing to be doing than to celebrate our Polish heritage and also to be celebrating the accomplishments of some incredible Polish-American women.”
Bysiewicz read a proclamation from Gov. Ned Lamont, who declared May 2 Polish American Day in the state of Connecticut.
The celebration also included a Polish Day exhibit with the theme “Women of Independence.”
“I hope you have the opportunity to take a look at these special exhibits that we have up here at the Capitol honoring the accomplishments of some amazing Polish-American women,” Bysiewicz said.
The honoree presentations and recognitions were awarded to Elaine Sarsynski by Rep. Carol Hall, Laurie Taf Jackson by Rep. Catherine Abercrombie, Ela Zlotnik by Rep. J. P. Sredzinski, Halina Szeligowski by Rep. Tami Zawistowski and Liz Wasiutynski by Rep. Kerry Wood.
“Connecticut has so many Polish Americans,” Bysiewicz said. “We rank 11th in the country as a state with a very strong Polish-American population. In Connecticut, one in 10 people have Polish-American roots and background. It is the third largest ethnic group next to Italian-American and Irish-American.”
Bysiewicz also recognized the values the Polish and American communities share, including the work ethic.
The Rev. Tomasz Przybyl, of the Holy Name of Jesus Church in Stamford, representatives from the Polish Language School for children and adults and the Polish American Foundation in New Britain also took part in the event.
The Polish Language School for children presented a cultural performance that included dancing and music by the children who attend the school.
May 3 is the original Constitution Day in Poland because in May 3, 1791, a political revolution was brought about by nonviolent means for the rights of man and the authority of the nation to govern itself.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.