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EDITORIAL: Return To March

We’re a month out from St. Patrick’s Day and hopes are rising that this year we can actually celebrate the day in a manner that brings us back to the pre-Covid years.

That would be 2019 and the years before it, so not too long ago.

Yet, in many respects, the gap between our Covid-restricted lives and the normality that preceded this reality seems like a much longer time span.

Parades are the most obvious celebrations of St. Patrick and plans are afoot for multiple marches this year.

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In the case of the New York City march the tradition of stepping out on St. Patrick’s Day (unless it falls on a Sunday) has been duly maintained during the pandemic for the allimportant historical record.

The New York parade organizers set great store in the refrain “marching every year since 1762.”

That record looked like it was under threat in 2020 with the parade coming just days after the great Covid

lockdown.

But a gallant band of parade officials and supporters marched in the first light of dawn through deserted streets to record the fact that they, well, marched. Grand Marshal James Callahan was not included as this was not a full scale parade.

Last year, the parade was still not the full march but it was a larger affair than 2020. And this time there was a Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral at the end of it. Grand Marshal Callahan was again held in reserve.

This year, next month, the plan is that Mr. Callahan will finally be able to lead a full parade up Fifth Avenue.

Hopefully he will and in so doing set a rather unusual record for being a three-time parade grand marshal.

But of course these are unusual times; and tragic too. On this coming day in honor of the patron saint of Ireland and the Archdiocese of New York we should remember all we have lost to Covid-19. We should march in their memory.