Monday, March 01, 2010

Today is Pulaski Day

Well in Illinois the first Monday is Pulaski Day in celebration of Casimir Pulaski who, during the American Revolution, was a General in the Continental Army. I wrote about this holiday back in 2007.

I've heard once that this was a hat-tip to the Polish population in Illinois. The state or indeed the city of Chicago has a significant Polish or Polish descended population. For as long as I can remember I would often get this day off during my time in the Chicago Public Schools. At that city government and sister agencies would also be closed on that day.

It just hits me that there were others who were "foreign" to the cause of the American Revolution who may not have had their own holidays.

For instance Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was also important in the American Revolution, but there wasn't a day off dedicated to him. And at that, I'm certain there is a significant population of Germans and German descended people in either Chicago or Illinois to make this happen. Unfortunately I've never had a day off for that gentleman.

Both of these American Revolution era army officers have provided their contributions to our nation. Pulaski is said to be the father of the American cavalry while von Steuben introduced to the fledgling American military the essentials of military drill and discipline. Although today both men are honored in different ways one has a holiday in Illinois and apparently the other appears to get a holiday.

Then again what am I griping about. Pulaski Day was a day off, but nationally there is a holiday for a prominent American who also contributed greatly to America, even if we haven't yet realized his vision of an American that looks at a person's content of character.

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