Town residents and officials gathered together at the Community Center to celebrate Polish Constitution Day, which included what has become a Cicero tradition.
Emceed by John C. Kociolko, the commemoration included recognition for the many contributions the Polish community has had in the United States, especially in Cicero. He also praised the hard work and loyalty the Polish have exhibited throughout history. In Illinois, Polish is the most common language spoken at home outside of English and Spanish, according to the American Community Survey.
As part of a continuing tradition in Cicero, resident Joseph Widlarz served as musical entertainment by playing traditional songs from his native land. When World War II broke out, Widlarz joined and served in the Polish army, became a Prisoner of War and sent to Dachau, one of Germany’s first concentration camps. Widlarz was freed by the American army in 1945 and emigrated to the United States four years later. The 97-year-old veteran has been living in Cicero since 1983.