FIGHTING 69th HONOR: Gathered for the Grand Council meeting were Thomas J. Ryan, Martin Bellew, Major Timothy Sweeney, Edward T. Cetnar, Brian J. Sharkey, Peter F. Whalen and Kevin Murphy

'Fighting 69th' Honor for Emerald Grand Council Linchpins

Special presentations to champions of Irish America were made during the St Patrick's Day Parade preparation meeting of the Grand Council of United Emerald Societies in the Fighting 69th Garryowen Officers Club on 6 March. 

President Martin Bellew and 1st Vice President Thomas J. Ryan recognized the Honorable Edward T. Cetnar, Superintendent of Police, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 2024 Irishman of the Year,  who will be serving as Aide to the Grand Marshal Margaret C. Timoney, for the parade.

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Superintendent Cetnar received a Blue Line Citizens Watch (courtesy of Eli Adams Jewelers, Rochelle Park, NJ)  to commemorate the occasion.

Major Timothy Sweeney, the Executive Officer of the Fighting 69th, also made a special presentation on behalf of Colonel James P. Tierney, designating Past Presidents Brian J. Sharkey and Peter F. Whalen as Honorary Members of the Sixty-Ninth Infantry Regiment, "The Fighting 69th."

This honor was granted to promote regimental continuity, tradition, and esprit de corps by order of the Secretary of the Army.

The Grand Council was founded on May 29, 1956, and reorganized on February 18, 1975. It has over 20,000 members and is the umbrella organization of 28 affiliated groups. The Grand Council has affiliates in Arizona, California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C.. One of its affiliated organizations is a nationwide group.

PRESENTATION: Major Timothy Sweeney, Martin Bellew, Brian J. Sharkey and Peter F. Whalen

PRESENTATION: Major Timothy Sweeney, Martin Bellew, Brian J. Sharkey and Peter F. Whalen

The affiliated organizations' members work in front-line professions such as law enforcement, fire service, EMS, education, waste management, mass transit, and public utilities.