Observations

This week we give our condolences to contributing author Thomas Mikulski on the loss of his grandfather Stefan Terlecki – Semcowicz, who passed away on August 10, 2009. We are grateful that Thomas has shared with us a tribute to his grandfather in the form of a brief recounting of Stefan’s life and accomplishments (page 4). What strikes me is that Stefan’s story is a fine example of the kind of man who makes us all proud to be Polish Americans, and it contains elements that I am sure almost every one of us can relate to some close friend or relative or immediate family member we have known. Thank you, Thomas.

As I read through the current issue of the Polish Weekly, I am reminded of the thoughtful discussions that Thomas has stimulated regarding the need to be aware of the present position of Polonia with respect to the cultures and issues surrounding us. The primary focus might seem to be historical, what with the upcoming commemorations of the outbreak of World War II, but in fact the current coverage does relate the past to the con- temporary. The article “Touchy subject” on page 1 questions how Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will discuss the Soviet invasion of Poland on the occasion of commemoration ceremonies he will attend
in Poland in September. My attention was caught by the item on page 5 about Adam Grochowski, the man responsible for creating the “paint by numbers” art kits I remember from childhood. Yes, I am one of the “Boomers” who experienced his work, which will be celebrated along with many other aspects of Polish history and culture during the commemoration ceremonies at Orchard Lake in early September. See the full schedule of events on page 5.
On page 7 we feature an open letter to Polonia from the Piast Institute concerning the need to have social services available to those in need in our community of Polonia. One point being made is that government assistance is available with appropriate support (linguistic and otherwise) to other ethnic groups while needy Polonians go unassisted or are overwhelming the resources of the Piast Institute. Dr. Radz- ilowski rightfully calls for our community to have our fair share of meaningful assistance service. The Piast Institute will necessarily focus on its initial and vital mission as an institute for Polish and Polish American affairs.

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