An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.













NEWS | May 13, 2024

Chicago Polish Constitution Day parade honors U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers

By Capt. Michael Ariola 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command

U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Matthew Wisniewski and Master Sgt. Brad Tomasheski, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command, along with the 85th USARSC color guard team, participated in Chicago’s 133rd Polish Constitution Day Parade, May 4, 2024.

In the heart of the city, the parade traveled along Columbus Drive amidst a sea of Polish and American flags and patriotic banners. The annual event, steeped in tradition and history, involved more than one hundred floats and marching units.

The parade represented various civic organizations, schools, businesses, and cultural groups that were united by their shared Polish heritage.

Folk dancers twirled gracefully to lively traditional music, and the aroma of Polish cuisine wafted through the air. Captivated spectators of all ages along the parade route cheered on the procession.

Wisniewski and Tomasheski, both Polish Americans, participated in the parade as Honored Guests.

“It’s great to see so many people come out and celebrate Polish culture. It is moving to see people of all ages and walks of life come together as a community here in Chicago to honor their Polish heritage,” said Wisniewski.

Tomasheski, reflected on his Polish heritage and experience at the parade.

“My great grandparents emigrated from Poland to the United States when they were 20. I think it is fantastic to see all the Polish culture on display. There is nowhere else where you would see this,” said Tomasheski. “It is an honor to represent the Army Reserve and Polish American Soldiers here today.”

The Parade, organized by the Alliance of Polish Clubs, celebrated Polish culture and Polish-American’s contributions to the nation. The event holds additional significance for Polish Americans, serving as a reminder of their ancestor’s fight for freedom and self-determination. The adoption of the 1791 constitution was a pivotal moment in Polish history, that established Poland as a modern democratic nation.

“The Polish constitution of 1791 was the first of it’s kind in Europe and the second in the world after the American Constitution,” explained Dr. Lucja Mirowska-Kopec, President, Alliance of Polish Clubs in the USA.

The theme of this year’s parade, “NATO Protects and Unites,” commemorated the 25th anniversary of Poland joining the NATO military alliance and the 75th anniversary of NATO’s creation.

“This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary joining NATO,” said parade organizer Kris Zoltek. “As a Polish Diaspora in America, we want to shed some light on geopolitical issues happening in Eastern Europe.”

As the procession ended, participants and spectators alike departed with a renewed sense of pride in their heritage and a deep appreciation of the indelible mark Polish Americans have made on virtually every aspect of American society.

Staff Sgt. Rosa Solano, assigned to the 85th USARSC color guard team, commented on her experience there.

“It was a pleasure to be embraced by the Polish American Community during their celebration of freedom, and (it was) heartwarming to see that it is a value that connects us all.”