I am delighted to send warm greetings to everyone celebrating St. Patrick's Day.
Although the greatest wave of Irish emigration took place during the mid-19th century, the United States has enjoyed the contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants since the beginning of the Colonial Era. Serving in our Nation's War for Independence and later helping to build its railroads, canals, and industries, Irish Americans have long demonstrated a capacity for hard work, as well as a strong penchant for full, spirited, and upright living. The American author and abolitionist, Lydia M. Child, once fondly observed: ``Not in vain is Ireland pouring itself all over the Earth . . . The Irish, with their glowing hearts and reverent credulity, are needed in this cold age of intellect and skepticism.''
Today, those tender sentiments still ring true. Thus, St. Patrick's Day is more than a time of stirring memories and good cheer; it is also a time when we honor those sons and daughters of Ireland who, inspired by a passion for liberty and opportunity, crossed the Atlantic to build new lives on these shores. Indeed, on this day, Americans of every background join with Irish Americans to celebrate their rich cultural heritage and our Nation's continued friendship with the people of the Emerald Isle.
Barbara joins me in sending our best wishes to all for an enjoyable and memorable St. Patrick's Day. God bless you.
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