Letters to the Editor

St. Patrick's Day: Irish lead the way in patriotism

In May 1861, General Henry Megher called upon the immigrant Irish in the poor slums of New York and Boston to fight for the Union. His first recruits were many of the firemen and police officers in New York City. The Fighting 69th New York Irish Brigade is the glory of the Irish race in America.

Yet again the same New York fire companies and police precincts responded when their nation called on their service and sacrifice on September 11th. Many families of New York’s finest can trace their lineage to that first Irish immigrant who donned the police and firemen’s shield or the musket and bayonet of the Union. They first did so out of need to feed their poor families, later out of dedication and devotion to God, country and tradition. To fight against tyranny, to serve one’s people, to uphold devotion to duty is an Irish right, bought and paid for in the past years of this nation with the blood of our people.

These sons and daughters of Erin, in a moment of horror and hell, upheld the very quality and honor of the Irish race..putting others before self. Sons and fathers, brothers and sisters, grandfathers and grandsons gave their blood on that day valiantly in the cause of human salvation.

And in that spirit, their youngest sons and daughters have vowed to pick up the mantle of the fallen and carry on. As 8-year-old Connor Davan Freehan, whose grandfather died sacrificing his own body to save that of a young woman, said at his grandfather’s funeral, “My grandfather was a hero and I will be a firemen like my dad because he is a hero, because I want to be a hero too.”

This is a special St. Patrick’s, this is what it means to be Irish, what it means to be American. To fight is in our veins, to fight tyrannical madness is in our blood, to defend all we hold dear is a sacred duty and we of the Irish race in America have vowed “seasfaimid” unto death, we shall stand as one against those who would dare destroy our country or murder its people. We will remember our heroes...and we will have justice for our dead. We have spoken with one voice to those who seek to destroy our nation …we will see you in hell.

God bless the heroes of 911 and our troops who fight the hated vermin. Show them the courage of our people as the children of Erin have shown them what it means to be Irish. May their valor ring on this grand day of the Irish.

Dan Rush

Oak Harbor

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