How do you pronounce 'Kosciuszko' and who was he?

The first span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge, connecting Brooklyn and Queens, opened Thursday. The new bridge retains the name of the 78-year-old span, which will be demolished. But for such an important project, the bridge's history and pronunciation are unknown to many.

We got a lesson at the Polish Cultural Institute in Midtown: it is pronounced "kuh-SHOOS'-koh."

The bridge is named for General Tadeusz Kościuszko, a war hero of two countries on two continents: the United States and Poland, says Anna Domanska of the institute. He was a fighter for freedom.

Kościuszko actually made a name for himself in military affairs when he came to North America and fought for the Continental Army in the American Revolution.

After cementing his place in American history, he returned to his native Poland and joined the military of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and became a hero in various conflicts in Europe.