Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan
As the nation celebrates October as Polish American Heritage Month, Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley celebrated Michigan’s first “Polish Day” on October 15, 2013, at the state capitol. Alongside leaders of the Polish-American community, Lt. Gov. Calley read aloud Gov. Snyder’s proclamation declaring Oct. 15 to be “Polish Day.”
“Since 1608, when the first Polish settlers arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, Polish people have been an important part of America’s history and culture,” Calley read. “In 2013, Polish Americans will mark the 32nd anniversary of the founding of Polish American Heritage Month, a national celebration of Polish history, culture and pride.”
The Polish Day event recognized the Polish people, their communities and their influence in Michigan. At the event, Lt. Gov. Calley spoke about the many contributions the Polish have made to Michigan and its economy.
“Whether it's something as simple as taking a vitamin -- a biochemist from Poland was the first to formulate a vitamin -- to driving our cars every day -- the oil refining process was another contribution of the Polish -- not a day goes by in the life of any Michigander, of any American, of any citizen of the world where there is not a contribution by the people of Poland that continues to touch our lives.”
In addition to speeches from Lt. Gov. Calley and Paulina Kapuscinska, the Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago, the event featured artwork from young Polish-American students as well as food tasting from Polish Village in Hamtramck. The Polish dance group, “Czarny Dunajec Polish Song & Dance Ensemble,” from Sterling Heights also performed traditional Polish dances.
Polish Americans have long called Michigan home. One in nine Michiganders have Polish ancestry, and in fact, Michigan has the third largest polish population among U.S. states. With such a strong Polish presence, Lt. Gov. Calley was happy to see Michigan finally celebrate the Polish culture.
“I don’t know what took so long to do this,” said Calley, “but I'm so proud to be part of the first recognition of Polish day in Michigan.”