Honorary Consul Deborah M. Majka - Southeastern PA

Flag Raising at Thomas Paine Plaza - Center City Philadelphia
(August 31, 2018)

To see photographs by Philadelphia City Photographer: go to Additional Photo Set
Credit to Albert Lee, City of Philadelphia

[Debbie Majka Picture]

1. A sizable crowd gathered on Thomas Paine Plaza, before the Municipal Services Building, in Philadelphia
Photographs below by: Peter J. Obst

[Honorary Consul Deborah Debbie Majka]

2. Hon. Consul for SE Pennsylvania Deborah Majka

---- [Honorary Consul Deborah Debbie Majka]

2a. (l. to r.) Deborah Majka, RP Vice Consul in New York
Mateusz Gmura, Philadelphia City Representative Sheila Hess
with the Mayoral Proclamation

[Honorary Consul Deborah M. Majka]

3. (l. to r.) Deborah Majka, RP Vice Consul in New York
Mateusz Gmura, Philadelphia City Representative Sheila Hess
with the Mayoral Proclamation

[Honorary Consul Deborah M. Majka]

4. David Zagorski leads the Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Choir in the the Polish and American national anthems

[Honorary Consul Deborah M. Majka]

5. Kasia Gmyr and Michael Matulewicz from the PKM Folk
Dance Group in traditional Kraków attire

---- [Honorary Consul Deborah M. Majka]

5a. Polish Flag over Paine Plaza

[Honorary Consul Deborah M. Majka]

6. (l. to. r.) John F. Smith III, Chairman, Global Philadelphia Assn., Vice Consul RP Mateusz Gmura,
Kasia Gmyr and Michael Matulewicz in Krakow area attire, Philadelphia City Representative Sheila Hess,
Hon. Consul Debbie Majka, President of Citizens Diplomacy International Siobhán Lyons, Marta Gmura

[Honorary Consul Deborah M. Majka]

7. (l. to. r.) Stanley and Jadwiga Bankowski, Debbie Majka, Mateusz Gmura, Kasia Gmyr and Michael Matulewicz, Marta Gmura,
Sylwia Czajkowski, Marcia and Miron Wolnicki (near Philadelphia City Hall)

On the morning of August 31, 2018, there were clouds and the skies threatened rain. This, however, did not deter a determined group of about sixty persons from coming to Paine Plaza, in front of Philadelphia's Municipal Services Building, near City Hall. They were there to witness the raising of the Polish flag on one of the tallest flagpoles in the city to mark the precise 38th Anniversary of the founding of Poland's Solidarity movement. This was also an occasion to celebrate the centennial year of Poland's rebirth and existence as a sovereign independent country on the map of Europe.

Honorary Consul for Southeastern Pennsylvania, Deborah M. Majka, greeted the assembled crowd with remarks that connected Solidarity's drive for basic human rights to FDR's famous "Four Freedoms" speech. After her, City Representative Sheila Hess read the Mayor's proclamation which further elaborated on the historic occasion and its significance. Poland's Vice-Consul Maciej Gmura, who graciously came from New York with his wife Marta, spoke about the long-time bonds between the United States and Poland that date back to the Revolutionary War.

After the flag was raised to the top of the mast as the national anthems of Poland and the United States were sung by the Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Choir led by David Zagorski. Many of those present joined in. Then Kasia Gmyr and Michael Matulewicz, dressed in Krakow area traditional folk attire, made a short presentation on Polish customs and culture.

At the conclusion Hon. Consul Majka thanked individuals and groups for joining in the ceremony. Among the present were: Phila. Chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation (Marcia Geary-Wolnicki, Pres.), Polish Heritage Society (Barbara Nowicki), Polish Peoples University PUL (Janusz Romanski), Associated Polish Home (Andrzej Wisniewski, President), Polish Intercollegiate Club PKM (Kasia Gmyr and Michael Matulewicz), Poles in America Foundation (Peter J. Obst), Polish American Congress (Theresa Romanowski), Pulaski Cadets (Stanley and Jadwiga Bankowski), Citizens Democracy International (Siobhan Lyons, Director), Philadelphia Diplomatic Corps (Lithuanian Hon. Consul Krista Butvydas Bard), Global Philadelphia Association (John F. Smith III, Chairman) and City Council (Al Taubenberger).

Afterward, on invitation of Madame Hon. Consul, many of those present took part in a delicious Polish-themed luncheon served in the City Hall's Caucus Room. The flag remained in place throughout the Labor Day weekend, in a fitting tribute to the Gdansk shipyard workers whose efforts brought such monumental changes to the lives of their fellow Poles and European neighbors.

Flag Rasing in Philadelphia - August 31, 2018