Here's what I wrote my friend:
My dad celebrated by going to the big Polish parade in Humboldt Park. The parade wound through the park, and it always seemed like every Polish-American Boy Scout troop and civic organization and parish was represented. Some of the groups had floats, but most were just Poles walking dressed in Red and White, the Polish colors, or costumes from the old country.
These speeches were Cold War speeches, speeches full of anger and fury and blood. Poland had been taken over by the Russians at the end of the Second World War, and the Poles wanted it back; and they wanted some American politician to say he was with us in wanting it get it back. My father and his friends and thousands of other Poles stood before the statue of Kosciusko riding a riding a high stepping cavalry charger and listened to speeches about charging into Soviet-controlled Poland and fighting to make it free. These were speeches full of steel and rubble and blood. They were full of anti-Communist vitriol and calls for the US to bomb the stuffing out of Moscow, unleash those American tanks with their nuclear-tipped artillery shells.
You'd hear Polish soldiers who had fought the Nazis in Poland in 1939, in France in 1940, in England in 1941, in Italy in 1943, in France in 1944, and at the gates of Berlin in 1945 stand up and talk about how the USSR was a paper lion, that when the Reds came into Poland in 1945 they were riding shaggy ponies and the Russian soldiers had rags on their feet instead of shoes.
After listening to the speeches, groups of people would come back to our house for more speeches and drinking and reminiscing and singing. They loved to sing the song about the red poppies on Monte Cassino and the Polish National anthem. They loved to sing about how "Poland will never fall so long as we were alive."
(The photo of the Polish accordion player is by John Vachon, a UN photographer who followed and photographed the Poles who returned to Poland. His superb pictures are available in his book Poland, 1946.