Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone Irish or not. This is a day almost as sacred as Christmas for the Irish. My earliest recollections of the day was being dressed in green and topped with a green hat and taken to the St. Patrick’s Day celebration at D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York, my Mom’s alma mater. I was definitely a pre-schooler then. The memories are fuzzy but I still remember the lovely Grey Nuns who surrounded us and the big celebration at the college. My Mom’s roots are from Jackson Heights in the borough of Queens, New York. She is a 100% Irish and proud of it. So deep is the ethnocentrism of her Irish family that one of my great aunts thought that Jesus was Irish. She was shocked to learn of his Jewish roots. I’ve never been to Ireland and I hope that someday soon I can go. It’s a dream that I’ve been postponing for years.
I’m proud of my Irish roots and of our family through the years. Mom is getting older now, but in a few minutes I’ll give her a call and wish her a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish like all Americans came to this country with the dream of a better life. A dream of religious freedom. Thousands of Irishmen helped to build the Erie Canal. They became policemen, firemen, priests, nuns and one of them even became President of the United States. The Irish have a long history of rebellion and fighting against oppression. There are more Irish in the United States today than there are in Ireland. I found this list of famous Irish Americans at Wikipedia.
As I was sitting here writing this post, my daughter sent me a text message. She said, “Top of the morning to you.” I returned, “the rest of the day to you!” I’ve passed on what was given to me as a little boy. I’ll close with my favorite Irish Blessing.
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.