On February 28th, 2013 President Barack Obama declared March 2013 to officially be Irish American Heritage Month. The Irish have come of age in America.
Official recognition of our cultural contributions to the growth and development of this nation bears testament to the struggles, sacrifices and tenacity of our forefathers. In 2011, 34.5 million U.S. residents claimed Irish ancestry. In his official proclamation President Obama declared:
“This month, we celebrate the Irish-American journey, and we
reflect on the ways a nation so small has inspired so much in
– President Barack Obama
Impoverished Irish immigrants arrived on these shores from a small island. They experienced Americanization from the bottom up, forging their Irish American identity in the streets, factories, workplaces, saloons and churches of their new land. The President goes on to say:
“Generations of Irish left the land of their forebears to cast their
fortunes with a young Republic. Escaping the blight of famine or the
burden of circumstance, many found hardship even here.
They endured prejudice and stinging ridicule.
But through it all, these new citizens never gave up on one of our
oldest ideas: that anyone from anywhere can write
the next great chapter in the American story.”
- President Barack Obama
Everyday we celebrate Ireland and America on the pages of this blog. Throughout the month of March we will continue to honor our unique heritage, celebrating our two nations and the amazing ties that bind us forever.
“So as we celebrate Irish-American Heritage Month, let us retell
those stories of sweat and striving. And as two nations united by
people and principle, may America and Ireland always continue to
move forward together in common purpose.”
– President Barack Obama
This Presidential Proclamation urges us to continue on our Irish American journey of storytelling. As the host of this blog I invite you to tell your family narratives of “sweat and striving”. Immigrant Tales is the perfect venue to feature your family’s personal American history.
Tales of saints and scholars, heroes, the famous, and the infamous need not be our focus. We can tell the stories of everyday Americans – tales of peasants arriving here speaking only Irish; the stories of everyday farmers, factory workers, policemen, maids, nuns, priests, business men and entrepreneurs. We can commemorate their dedication to making dreams come true in this great land of opportunity. I firmly believe ordinary men and women are our true heroes.
If you have an immigrant tale you would like to share, send me an e-mail. I would be honored to share your story on this website. Remember we now have a Presidential Proclamation urging us to retell our family stories.
And so together let’s do our very best to celebrate all that is good about our Irish American identity and culture.
Wishing you all a happy, memorable and meaningful Irish American Heritage Month.
Slán agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom