Since he began writing for the Polish Weekly a year or so ago, Thomas Mikulski has contributed a positive and well reasoned viewpoint while stimulating an insightful dialogue among our readership. In this issue, we feature his “farewell” as a regular contributor, titled “Prelude to Liberty.” I hope we will hear more from him over time, and regardless of that, I know he will continue to be a fine example to, and a positive influence on, others both inside and outside of Polonia. Thomas and I share a common belief in the importance of the relationship between American Polonia, and American society and culture, in that each is an integral part of the other.

Thomas summarizes his viewpoint with a recap of past articles and recommendations. He acknowledges the respectful disagreement he experienced from some quarters. He also noted personal criticisms, derogation and name – calling aimed at himself and, I am ashamed to hear, at his family, but there are often those negative (and in my opinion small – minded) people who attack the individual when they can’t comprehend, appreciate and even respect the ideas, even if they disagree. They are like people who “boo” and “catcall” at organization meetings when they should engage in meaningful discussion or answer legitimate questions instead.

The thoughtful Mr. Mikulski admits that at times he focused on issues that are not directly related to Polonia, but that is the point and tradition of Pulaski and Kosciuszko. “For your freedom and ours” translates to “for your good and ours.” It is a great Polish tradition which the “opposition” (might I call them “isolationists” without being considered a “name-caller?”) seems to forget. As I watch the active role that modern Poland has taken in world affairs, I can’t help but applaud that role. In spite of my personal disagreements with some aspects of Polish politics and its leaders, I appreciate that both Kwasniewski and Kaczynski understood the importance of Polish involvement in World affairs. That importance parallels the importance of Polonia’s involvement in the encompassing relationship with the rest of America, in all its ethnic diversity and common shared interests and values.

But I digress. My main thought after reading “Prelude to Liberty” is to look for a brighter future and to hope that all of Polonia shares in making it that way. Thank you, Thomas.

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