THE LARGEST and oldest Irish Catholic organisation in the US has paid a special tribute to American war heroes of Irish descent on Veterans Day.
On a day commemorating those who fought and died in conflicts around the globe, the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) put together a special video commemorating Irish American veterans.
Neil Cosgrove, the political education chair for the AOH, explained the idea behind the poignant tribute which was posted online for Veterans DSay 2020.
"While recognizing and grateful for the sacrifices that Americans of every race, ethnicity, and religion have made in defense of our country, Irish America can take pride and have a very Celtic obligation of remembrance to those of our family, no matter how extended, who served,"” he said.
"It is incredible the prominent place that the Irish occupy on our nation’s rolls of honor, especially given that Irish immigrants and their descendants have frequently been accused of 'divided loyalties' and not being 'true Americans.'
"It is regretful that the stories are shown in the video, and the thousands more, are not better known, and we hope that in remembering them, we can offer our gratitude and pride in them and all Veterans."
A powerful tribute, the video includes a quote from Walter Winchell: “You can’t strike the American flag without expecting to get hit back by some Irishman."
The video paid particular tribute to the following:
Commodore John Barry, who was born in Tacumshane, County Wexford before emigrating to the US where he was later dubbed the Father of the American Navy.
Major Patrick Brady, who received the Medal of Honor for his work as the pilot of ambulance helicopter in Vietnam. Major Brady volunteered to rescue wounded men from a site in enemy held territory which was heavily defended and blanketed by fog.
The Irish Brigade, an infantry brigade, consisting mostly of Irish Americans, who served as part of the Union Army in the American Civil War
Sergeant Major Dan Daly, one of only two Marines who have received the Medal of Honor twice for two separate acts of heroism, once in Haiti and once in the Boxer Rebellion.
Fr Francis Duffy, the most decorated cleric in the US Army, who served as a chaplain for the 69th Infantry Regiment ("The Fighting 69th"), a unit of the New York Army National Guard drawn mostly from the city's Irish-American and immigrant population
Lt Col Martha McSally, who made history as the first female US fighter pilot to fly in combat.
Lt Michael P. Murphy, who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic service in Afghanistan
Audie Murphy, who received every US military combat award for valor available from the US Army for his service during World War II
Corporal Patrick Sheahan, who was awarded the Silver Star posthumously for his service in the line of duty in Korea and waited 50 years to be formally recognised as a US citize