Hibernians Celebrate Irish Heritage

The Ancient Order of Hibernians are celebrating Irish American Heritage Month.

But they are not happy with some of the ways that the big Irish month is observed - or not observed at all.

Said the Hibernians in a release: "Since 1991, American Presidents of both parties, including most recently by President Biden on March 1st, have declared March as 'Irish American Heritage Month' and called upon 'all Americans to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Irish Americans to our Nation with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.'

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"Once again, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, as America's largest Irish American Organization, will answer this call with a series of programs and events. We commend President Biden for a thoughtful March 2023 Irish American Heritage Month Proclamation.

"In answering the President's call, the Hibernians have created a short video celebrating the historic and continuing accomplishments of Irish American Men and Women; the video may be accessed at https://youtu.be/qYJgVPKKUvM.

Additionally, every weekday in March, the Hibernians will spotlight an Irish American man or woman and the vital contribution that they have made to America.  

"These profiles may be found on the National AOH Website at www.aoh.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/aoh.in.america. Our first profile is on Irish American Astronaut and Oceanographic Explorer Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, paying tribute to Irish American Heritage Month and Women's History Month, which is also celebrated in March.  

"Given the number of Irish American women who have made history, there is a natural relationship between the two observances and no reason not to recognize both.   

"While the Ancient Order of Hibernians proudly celebrates Irish American Heritage Month, it cannot help but notice that many of our institutions do not accord Irish American Heritage Month the same attention accorded to other Heritage Month celebrations.  

"Sadly, we see an increasing indifference and airbrushing of the Irish American experience from the American consciousness and educational curricula. Unhappily we note that major news networks tend to focus their Irish American coverage in March on the return of the Shamrock Shake rather than acknowledging the role that Irish American men and women have, and continue to, play in our nation.

"The Hibernians believe that full recognition of Irish American Heritage Month in 2023 is necessary now more than ever.  

"We believe that the story of a people who came to America to flee oppression and hunger, who faced incredible bigotry and prejudice, and yet have gone on to achieve prominence in every aspect of American endeavor is highly relevant to some of the challenges our nation is facing today and should speak to all Americans, irrespective of their own heritage.  

"There is so much in the stories of our Heritages that should unite us and help us appreciate each other, but those bridges of understanding can only be built if the stories of all heritages are known."