President Obama added some Irish storytelling flair to his proclamation today declaring March Irish-American Heritage Month:
Over hundreds of years, Irish men, women, and children left the homes of their ancestors, watching the coasts of Donegal and the cliffs of Dingle fade behind them. Boarding overcrowded ships and navigating dangerous seas, these resilient travelers looked to the horizon with hope in their hearts. Many left any valuables, land, or stability they had behind, but they came instead with the true treasures of their homeland — song and literature, humor and tradition, faith and family. And when they landed on our shores, they shared their gifts generously, adding immeasurable value to towns, cities, and communities throughout our Nation.
Today, we draw on the indomitable spirit of those Irish Americans whose strength helped build countless miles of canals and railroads; whose brogues echoed in mills, police stations, and fire halls across our country; and whose blood spilled to defend a Nation and a way of life they helped define. Defying famine, poverty, and discrimination, these sons and daughters of Erin demonstrated extraordinary strength and unshakable faith as they gave their all to help build an America worthy of the journey they and so many others have taken. During Irish-American Heritage Month, we recall their legacy of hard work and perseverance, and we carry forward that singular dedication to forging a more prosperous future for all Americans.
Obama got in touch with his Irish ancestry last May in a Guinness-toasting trip to Moneygall, Ireland.