Thousands of spectators came downtown to watch the Polish Constitution day parade. The weather was perfect, and the participants were prepared to impress with their painted faces, ethnic costumes, polish music, and energetic demonstration of Polish pride.
The day started at 9 am with the raising of the polish flag on the Daley Plaza. Many highly rank Chicago officials were in attendance. Red and white colors took over Dearborn Street as members of Polonia’s many organizations, schools and clubs proudly demonstrated their patriotism. Over 30 members climbed onto our float and proudly represented PAMS. Spectators pleasantly welcomed us with energetic cheers and applause. Some of us even had a chance to meet the parade’s Marshall: the legendary Duke Coach, Mike Krzyzewski.
After the parade, a group of physicians walked over to Chopin Park near the intersection of Michigan and 11th Street and enjoyed a wonderful reenactment of the signing of the polish constitution. Chopin Park has officially been dedicated to the polish American community of Chicago and will be home to a replica of the Chopin statue located in Łazienki Park, Warsaw, Poland.
The day concluded with a visit to the Polish Consulate (invited guests only). Consul Paulina Kapuścinka organized this evening’s celebration of Polonia, which has become an official Polish holiday established by Polish government. Mrs. Kapuścinska presented awards to distinguished Polonia activists including our own Dr. Marek Rudnicki, who received Odznakę Honorową Rzecznika Praw Obywateldkich za zasługi dla ochrony praw człowieka. Barbara Cooper, a friend of PAMS and auxiliary member, was awarded with the Krzyż Kawalerski Orderu Zasługi RP.
The cherry on top of this emotional evening was an extremely talented coloratura soprano, Ms. Marlena Dzis, who delightfully presented and elegantly sang many classic Polish songs by Chopin and Moniuszko.
I am sincerely grateful to the PAMS members who joined us on this memorable day.
Evelina Worwag, M.D.
Secretary of PAMS