2016-03-16 / Editorials

The Wearing Of The Green

Commemorated for more than 250 years, St. Patrick’s Day is a day when all are invited to celebrate. At the largest St. Pat’s parade in the world tomorrow, a huge turnout is expected as always, with a projected 150,000 marching in the procession, and 2 million spectators. Honoring the patron saint of Ireland with a parade is thought to have paved the way for the very American tradition of holding a variety of parades celebrating diverse cultures and groups. Last year’s parade included one small LGBT group, and this year there will be more. Mayor de Blasio will finally join the parade now that it has expanded its contingent to be more truly inclusive, as the St. Pat’s For All parade in Queens has always been. Held this year on March 6, it is another hugely popular and festive annual gathering whose motto is, “Whether Irish by birth, heritage or simply affection...all welcome!”

The original St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York happened at a time when the Irish were blatantly spurned from society – openly rejected for jobs and housing, for example – and affirming their pride was almost an act of rebellion. But since then the Irish people of America persisted, thrived and have gone on to make major contributions in every sphere.

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in Manhattan, not long after the Flushing Remonstrance, the first defense of religious freedom ever recorded. Calling for the acceptance of “all sons of Adam,” it is considered by many to be America’s first Declaration of Independence and a forerunner of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

On this St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday, March 17, welcome is extended to all to join in the celebration as honorary Irishmen for the day. Enjoy the parade and have a happy, lucky St. Paddy’s Day.

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