Visa Waiver for Poland Becomes Great Cause of Foundation to Illuminate America’s Heroes; Advisory Board Chairman Anthony J. Bajdek Leads the Fight for Justice

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The Foundation to Illuminate America’s Heroes is joining Polish American groups petitioning Congress to allow Poland to enter the Visa Waiver Program; International Advisory Board Chairman, Anthony J. Bajdek Leads the Fight for Justice.

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"Poland's exclusion from our nation's Visa Waiver Program is unworthy treatment of a loyal friend and ally of the United States, "

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David C. Jamison, Executive Director of the Foundation to Illuminate America’s Heroes, announced today that the Foundation will join with other Polish American groups in petitioning the Congress of the United States to allow Poland to become a member of the nations around the world participating in the Visa Waiver Program.

Dean Anthony J. Bajdek, Chairman of the Foundation’s International Advisory Board, will spearhead the program to support legislation, particularly HR 3855, the Visa Waiver Program Enhanced Security and Reform Act, which calls for, among other things, adopting a visa overstay rate rather than focusing on visa refusal rate as a metric to determine qualification for participating in the Visa Waiver Program. Poland has one of the lowest visa overstay rates, at about 2%, of any nation participating in the Program. The usual rate of those remaining unlawfully in the US is closer to 40%.

Since 2004, Mr. Bajdek has worked tirelessly through the Polish American Congress to enlist support in state legislatures for passage of Visa Waiver for Poland Resolutions which memorialize the Congress and President of the United States to admit Poland to the Program. To date, twelve state legislatures, namely, MA, NJ, VT, PA, CT, ME, NE, NY, OH, MI, AZ, IL and MA (for the second time) in that order have passed resolutions supporting Poland's admission to the Visa Waiver Program. He is currently working for passage of such resolutions in NH, RI and TN as well. "Poland's exclusion from our nation's Visa Waiver Program is unworthy treatment of a loyal friend and ally of the United States, " he states, and adds that "were Kosciuszko -- a man of principle, loyalty, honor and courage in the matter of freedom, independence, democracy and equality for our 'Glorious Cause' in America's War of Independence -- to be around in 2012, he likely would refuse invitations to travel to the United States so long as his fellow Poles could not freely travel here, visa-free travel to the United States being enjoyed by the citizens of all member nations constituting the European Union except for Poland, Bulgaria and Romania."

“It is a matter of simple justice,” Mr. Jamison stated, “Poland has been a staunch ally of the United States and a pillar of democracy in Eastern Europe. The relationship of Poland and the United States goes all the way back to the Revolutionary War, when two Polish officers, Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Kazimierz Pulaski, came to a young America’s aid. The heroism we find in Merian C. Cooper’s formation of the legendary Kosciuszko Squadron comprised of American volunteer fighter pilots and Polish fighter pilots when the Bolsheviks attacked Poland in 1919 was in partial repayment of that debt."

"These heroes cry out for justice,” Mr. Jamison continued, “and that is why we want to join with others in seeing this injustice towards Poland corrected. Our two nations are linked by this history, an inspiring story of heroism that we want to see made into a full Hollywood feature film for the whole world to see. It is the very mission of the Foundation to find and illuminate hero stories like this to inspire present and future generations.”

The Foundation’s achievements in establishing a tax exempt charitable entity, creating and launching a website and embedded YouTube feature film treatment, becoming known and naming Merian C. Cooper as the “Greatest American Hero of the Twentieth Century” and his involvement with the Kosciuszko Squadron as the “Greatest Story Not Yet Told,” are hallmark achievements. The work of the Foundation and this Merian C. Cooper/Kosciuszko Squadron feature film project have become known internationally. These remarkable achievements have been funded by a small group who have a passion for the mission of the Foundation to seek out and illuminate the lives of true American heroes, past and present, and they share a vision of illuminating the inspirational story of Cooper and the Kosciuszko Squadron through a Hollywood feature film so that present and future generations can be inspired.

“The Foundation is now looking for broad support to get this story told,” said Jamison. “The Foundation has set an initial goal of raising $1 million dollars, which will take us through Step Two, securing a Hollywood screen writer and Director for the feature film, plus the necessary expenses to take us to the next level. We are appealing especially to those in the Polish American community to take the lead in helping and supporting the Foundation to tell this inspirational story that links two great nations, the United States and Poland.

The Foundation’s website at http://www.illuminateamericasheroes.com contains the story of Merian C. Cooper and the Kosciuszko Squadron, told through an embedded YouTube video, entitled: “The Greatest Story Not Yet Told!” The written film treatment, “Honor To You” can be clicked and read within the website. The website also contains a donation link that allows everyone who supports this great story and mission to make a tax exempt donation of any amount. All donations will greatly help the Foundation to illuminate this heroic story to the whole world.

“In addition,” he added, “The Foundation is making a formal appeal here now for Supporting Partners of the Merian C. Cooper Kosciuszko/Squadron Film. Supporting Partners of this great project and the Foundation will be listed both on the Foundation’s website and, when the feature film is released, on the film’s credits.”

Supporting Partners can support this great cause at several levels: PLATINUM Supporting Partners, those giving $10,000 or more; GOLD Supporting Partners, those giving $5,000 up to $9,999; SILVER Supporting Partners, those giving $1,000 up to $4,999; BRONZE Supporting Partners, those giving $500 up to $999. All gifts to the Foundation are fully tax deductible in the current tax year. Supporting Partners should make checks payable to the Foundation to Illuminate America’s Heroes, Inc. and mailed directly to the Executive Director at 104 Bristol Court, Dothan, AL 36303.

“Supporting Partners can help the Foundation to illuminate this inspirational story to the whole world,” Jamison said. “Supporting Partners can help make this the first Hollywood feature film financed by tax deductible donations to a charitable Foundation.” “If not you…who?” he added. “If not now…when?”

For further information and questions about the Foundation and the Marian C. Cooper/Kosciuszko Squadron Film Project, please contact David C. Jamison, Executive Director at davidj(at)illuminateamericasheroes(dot)com or by calling (334) 718-9501.

Contact information: David C. Jamison, Executive Director
            The Foundation to Illuminate America’s Heroes, Inc.
            http://www.illuminateamericasheroes.com
            davidj(at)illuminateamericasheroes(dot)com
            (334) 718-950l

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