The visitors were led by Dr. Harald Becker, a pharmacist and
Rotarian team leader from their area. Becker was especially
interested in the Mount Pulaski phone book, which listed many German
family names, including his surname in several listings.
group's first request was a tour of the Mount Pulaski Courthouse to
learn more about our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. They were
amazed to hear that Lincoln and other lawyers spent six months out
of the year riding horseback -- some had horse and buggy -- over 450
miles to 15 different county seats along the Illinois 8th Judicial
Circuit. Mount Pulaski was the one between Bloomington and Clinton
from the spring of 1848 through the fall of 1855.
The visitors then walked across the street to Buff's Restaurant
to join the Mount Pulaski Rotary Club for a luncheon and discussion
of who everyone was. They highlighted their presentation of "who we
are" with a PowerPoint show that revealed their town of birth, town
of study and work, their type of work, family, and hobbies. It also
included some interesting facts on the industrial efforts of their
particular town or city and a historical note or two on their
particular town or area. Several enjoyed telling of their soccer
("football") playing days and their current interests in hiking,
camping, photography and art. Each explained in some detail their
job descriptions and what their particular company currently offers.
One of the visitors was from Poland and had moved to Germany for
her workplace. She was delighted to hear about Mount Pulaski's
namesake, Gen. Casimir Pulaski, an American Revolutionary cavalry
soldier who lost his family estate in his homeland of Poland through
local warfare and soon after came to America with about 10 of his
troops, their horses and armaments.
Upon recommendation of Gen. George Washington, Pulaski was
immediately given the rank of brigadier general. He and his cavalry
unit distinguished themselves at several important battles along the
Atlantic seaboard. The visitors were surprised to hear that Gen.
Pulaski was recently (2009) made the seventh "Honorary Citizen" of
the United States, joining Winston Churchill, Gen. Lafayette and
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It was also pointed out that the USS SSBN-633 Casimir Pulaski
ballistic missile submarine was launched in 1964 and served the U.S.
Navy for 30 years.
The visitors were informed that one of the town founders chose
the name of Pulaski since his father had fought with Washington at
the battle of Brandywine Creek, where Pulaski and his warriors
interceded to help Washington and his men escape from being further
routed and destroyed following their loss to the British in the
Dr. Phillip Gillian of Lincoln Rotary was the visiting group's
guide to Mount Pulaski and Springfield. Wally Kautz, director of the
Mount Pulaski Courthouse, provided the courthouse tour.
Rebecca Drake, Mount Pulaski Rotary president, welcomed the
visitors and explained that the club was founded in 1936. She led
the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance and the recitation of the
Rotarian "4-Way Test of the Things We Think, Say or Do." Pastor
Rachel Stockel of the United Methodist Church, who is a Mount
Pulaski Rotarian, led the grace.
International Rotary Group Study Exchange provides
travel grants for teams of professionals ages 25-40 to participate
in cultural and vocational exchanges in other countries.
[Text from file received from Phil Bertoni]