Polish President Visits New Britain, City With Polish Ties

September 23, 2019 - 9:31 am

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) — The president of Poland was made to a feel right at home during a visit Sunday to a Connecticut city with many residents of Polish descent, who wore red and white T-shirts and waved Polish flags.

President Andrzej Duda attended Mass at a Catholic church, visited Central Connecticut State University and addressed Polish-American relations at a local park during a visit to New Britain.

About 20,000 people with Polish heritage live in the city of about 73,000 near Hartford. New Britain even has a neighborhood called Little Poland.

Duda and first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda started their trip by attending Mass at a packed Holy Cross Church while the crowd overflowed outside.

Edyta Kysmirek, of Farmington, who was one of the hundreds standing outside the church, told the New Britain Herald it was an honor for Duda to visit New Britain instead of the bigger cities nearby, like New York or Boston.

Irena and Ted Kurzyna told the Hartford Courant they cut short a camping trip so they could get a glimpse of Duda.

"I have been here almost 29 years, waiting for the first visit from a president. I had to come," Irene Kurzyna said.

Duda plans to travel from Connecticut to New York to attend an upcoming United Nations General Assembly gathering.