Yesterday, along with the rest of the country, PASB celebrated Memorial Day, and while the modern incarnation of the holiday is often seen as an unofficial kickoff of the summer season, a variety of services and events throughout the region celebrated the sacrifice of all those for whom the day of remembrance was created.
For those of us at Polish American String Band, this includes our annual memorial services as well as two neighborhood performances.
PASB’s Memorial Day begins with a small, graveside service at the burial site of Polish American String Band’s Founder, Joseph Jankowski. After paying respects to the man who brought this group together back in 1933, the entirety of the PASB membership meets back at their clubhouse in Port Richmond for a Member Memorial Service in which the names of all of the deceased PASB members are read from their Memorial Plaque which is on display within the clubhouse throughout the year. This is followed by a traditional rendition of ‘In Heaven There Is No Beer’ to conclude the services.
Following the PASB services, the band then heads to neighboring Bridesburg to take part in the Bridesburg Memorial Day Parade. Marching through streets thronged with revelers donning their best patriotic garb, the band proceeded through the neighborhood performing a variety of classic Mummers’ tunes alongside patriotic songs and the marches of all of the branches of our Armed Services.
Upon conclusion of the Bridesburg Parade, Polish American returned to their clubhouse and began a march through the neighborhood of Port Richmond to Campbell Square where they are honored to participate in the annual Memorial Day Flag Raising Ceremony. In addition to performing both the Star Spangled Banner and the Polish National Anthem to open the services, PASB also performed the march of each branch of the Armed Services and God Bless America before proceeding back to the club house to conclude the day with a barbecue for the members of the band and their families.
Like so many of the traditions to which we adhere, Memorial Day is a fundamental part of what makes Polish American the fraternal organization that it is, and we are both honored and proud to carry on these traditions. We also are humbled to reflect upon the sacrifice of so many which grants us the freedom to have these celebrations, both in memorializing those who have been lost as well as extending our eternal gratitude to all those who have served as well as their families who have also made such tremendous sacrifices. Thank you all!
We hope you all had a great Memorial Day Weekend as well!
..next up, look for Polish American String Band performing at the Mummers’ Museum on Thursday, 5/30 at 8 PM!