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St. Patrick's Day Memories: Hilary Beirne

I have so many St. Patrick's Day memories, however the one I will remember for the rest of my life was at the 2002 NYC St Patrick's parade. At midday, the entire parade paused for two minutes and turned around to face South towards the fallen Twin Towers as Cardinal Egan (who stood a few feet from where I was standing) said a prayer for all the victims of 9/11. The silence was amazing; one could hear a pin drop on Fifth Avenue at that moment, even though it was lined with over 100,000 marchers. It was a fitting tribute to the men and women who lost their lives at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Have you ever marched in the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade? Yes, I marched with the Francis P. Beirne Division 9 Ancient Order of Hibernians for a number of years, and now it is my honor to march up Fifth Avenue in the last group in the Parade, the Parade workers. What a wonderful group of people - without them, there would be no St Patrick's Day in New York City.

Five essential Irish albums that should be part of everyone's music library: The Best of The Chieftains; Watermark by Enya; Boy by U2; Live at The Point by Christy Moore; Bagatelle by Bagatelle. How much green do you wear on March 17th? I wear the official New York City St Patrick's Day tie. It has lots of green shamrocks and "St. Patrick" all over it. Do you eat corned beef & cabbage on St. Patrick's Day? How about soda bread? Sometimes I eat corned beef & cabbage on St Patrick's Day. However, I eat lots of my Aunt Mary's soda bread - nobody makes soda bread as good as hers. Favorite Irish film? "Michael Collins." Favorite Irish book? "The Barracks" by John McGahern.

Favorite Irish song? "

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