It is hard not to think about this today on St Patrick's Day. I pull out my green, send Erin Go Bragh and Top of the Mornin' greetings to most of my Irish and Irish friendly friends and family. Tonight I will feast on corned beef and cabbage, roast potatoes, maybe scones and drink some Guiness or Harp. It is indeed a fine day for celebration. But I also will remember how my family came to America as refugees from a land that was stricken by a great famine. Eventually they were assimilated and became as American as anyone born here.
In the year 2000 I went to that rocky coast in northwest Ireland. I hoped to find something of my ancestors there. Not much was to be found. I searched the Donegal cemetery, went to the Donegal Castle and spoke with some locals. A man who worked at the cemetery told me that he remembered something about the McMurrays. They were mercenaries from Scotland who worked and defended another great estate on a promontory point nearby. He said the ruins of their modest cottage were still there. Of course, I suspected he may have told this story to many an ancestor searcher, so I took it with a grain of salt. I also knew we probably had immigrated from Scotland to Ireland, so, who knows for sure?
Being Irish by birth or adoption or lineage, I treasure my "green" blood. I love to tell tall tales and occasionally tip a mug of suds. I too have immigrated as did my ancestors from my homeland in Michigan to California, a much different experience to be sure; but seemingly in keeping with the ways of my forefathers. It is a grand day to be Irish, so I will relive the legends of the past as I choose and carry with me the hearts of my father, grandfather, great grandfather before me. To this I say, God bless and remind you that today, because St Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, we are all Irish and Cead Mile Failte, a thousand welcomes!