[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents Volume 32, Number 41 (Monday, October 14, 1996)]
[Page 2016]
[Online from the Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

Message on the Observance of Polish American Heritage Month

October 8, 1996

    Warm greetings to everyone observing Polish American Heritage Month.
    Many Americans proudly trace their roots to Poland, a land whose 
rich and colorful past is rivaled only by the bright promise of its 
future. This month, as we celebrate the many contributions that 
Americans of Polish heritage have made to our nation's history and 
culture, we also reaffirm the strong and friendly ties between the 
United States and Poland.
    Before America became a nation, Poles came to these shores in search 
of liberty and opportunity, and their descendants have remained at the 
forefront of efforts to keep America free, strong, and prosperous. This 
year we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great Polish 
hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who helped secure the independence of our 
fledgling republic during the Revolutionary War. Since that time, 
millions of other men and women of Polish descent have invested their 
hopes in America's bold experiment in self-government and, inspired by 
faith in God and a devotion to democratic ideals, have worked hard to 
ensure its success.
    The deep cultural and familial ties between the peoples of the 
United States and Poland have been strengthened by our shared values and 
aspirations. For generations, Poles have demonstrated the same reverence 
for individual rights and dignity that infuses our own system of 
government. The United States supports Poland's democratic transition 
and her people's efforts to establish a pluralistic society and a free 
market economy. Poland and the United States are building a new security 
for the twenty-first century, working together to prepare for NATO's 
enlargement in an undivided Europe.
    As we observe Polish American Heritage Month, I join all Americans 
in thanking our fellow citizens of Polish descent for their countless 
contributions to the strength and quality of our national life. Best 
wishes to all for a memorable celebration.
                                                  Bill Clinton