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Every year at St Patrick’s Day we don our green and fly our Irish flag proudly. And we proudly tell you stories of our roots in England, Holland and Lithuania. But I just realized what an injustice we have done to you. You are not Irish. Or English. Or Dutch. Or Lithuanian. You are in fact, in the purist sense, Americans.
You have ancestors who are the founding fathers of Concord, most of New Jersey, and key ports of New York. You have historical homes built by your great grandfathers still preserved today. You have great grandmothers who came here to flee both potato famines and communist rule.You have ancestors who have fought in every US War, and on both sides of the Civil War.
I am sorry. I thought that by telling you you were Irish, or Dutch, or what have you that we were giving you a historical identity. But I realize now how wrong I was. Every ancestor you have came to this country and gave their blood, sweat and tears so that you, my sons, could proudly say, I AM AMERICAN.
To say anything else trivialize your rich history of those who have built this country-whether they came here in the 1600’s or the 1900’s. YOU are their dream. YOU are why they came. They could not possibly conceived of the amazing opportunities that you have. They could not possibly have dreamed of a world as big as you have now. But it is because they dared to dream, that this world of opportunity is before you.
Let’s not dishonor their dreams anymore by ever saying that we are anything less than AMERICAN.