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Maureen O’Hara laid to rest in Arlington

Maureen O’Hara with her husband, Charles Blair.

By Ray O’Hanlon
rohanlon@irishecho.com

Just as she did countless times in her long life, Maureen O’Hara drew a crowd today.

It was made up of family, friends, admirers and colleagues from the acting world.

And the gathering from the four corners of the compass stood on hallowed ground - that of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, now the final resting place of a screen legend.

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O’Hara, a Hollywood heroine, is now resting among the heroes.

And most closely with her husband and World War Two hero, Brigadier General Charles Blair.

O’Hara died October 24, aged 95, in Boise, Idaho where she had been living with family in recent years.

General Blair, had been buried with full military honors in Arlington after dying in an air crash in the Caribbean in 1978.

O’Hara’s last wish was to be buried with Blair.

That burial was set for 2 p.m. today after a Requiem Mass.

The Irish Independent reported that among those attending will be an Irish delegation drawn from friends and neighbors from Cork, Limerick and Dublin.

Amongst those travelling to the funeral is the founder of the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, Margaret O'Shaughnessy, the Independent report stated.

"We had nearly 30 years of friendship. That is a long time, so I wanted to travel for the funeral for Maureen and her family," O’Shaughnessy told the daily.

Many have seen the moment of O’Hara’s passing as a final curtain for a Hollywood golden age.

Known as the “Queen of Technicolor,” O’Hara was, and always will be, a screen icon.

But to many Irish Americans she was that and more.

Though advancing age eventually curtailed her public appearances, O’Hara was generous with her time right into her 90s, and was never less than conscious that she possessed a revered image, one to protect and project.

This was no less the case on St. Patrick’s Day, 1999 when she led the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade up Fifth Avenue as its grand marshal.

Never was a marshal so grand, never was a crowd so enthusiastic for a parade leader.

Maureen O’Hara was truly Irish America’s uncrowned queen.

 

 

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