Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Firefighters


Cory's paternal grandmother was a Kelly.  They, and my kids, have some strong Irish blood.  I think each generation of Americans moves further away from their heritage, so I am thankful for these holidays to help us celebrate our roots.  It's good to take a day to remind the kids where our ancestors came from.

Additionally, this is a special holiday for firefighters.  In the mid-1800s, during the Great Potato Famine in Ireland, many Irish men and women fled to America.  They were greatly mistreated and discriminated against.  They were unable to get jobs in the factories, or in retail, so they had to take jobs as firemen.  In those days, it was a horrible job -- one that no one else wanted.  It was incredibly dangerous, and many of them died.  Bagpipes were customary of Irish funerals, and thereby they became customary of firefighter funerals.  That tradition remains today.

Your St. Patricks' Day Irish history lesson.  You're welcome.

My favorite Irish blessing:

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

3 comments:

elizabeth said...

I did not know that bit of history. Fascinating - if also sad.

I love the sound of bagpipes. Years ago, I was camping on the North Shore and heard the sound of music. I walked out onto the rocks and saw someone playing bagpipes on a campsite a ways down the coast. I stayed and listened until they stopped. It was so beautiful and brought back happy memories of hearing bagpipes in Scotland (including someone playing bagpipes in the castle at Loch Ness!).

Leanne said...

It is sad, Elizabeth. We always must remember how important immigrants have always been to our country, no?

I love them too. So melancholy, and eerie. But beautiful.

MindiJo said...

Thank you.

We are so alike, I said "you're welcome" on my blog, too. FYI.