1916 Irish Rising Commemoration Added to the Washington Monument

         1916 Irish Rising Commemoration Added to the Washington Monument
By Neil J. Conway

It has been decades since a nation was honored in Washington like Ireland was recently, at a grand opening of the Washington Monument after a 3-year renovation was completed. A special plaque was added that is now a permanent part of the Monument, containing the words of the 1916 Easter Rising Proclamation, as follows:

IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: “In the name of God and of the dead

generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood,

Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for

her freedom.”

The plaque was presented in September 2019 by Irish President Michael D. Higgins on behalf of the people of Ireland. It was dedicated with reference to both Ireland and America’s struggle for independence, noting similarities between the two. The Irish Proclamation itself occupies a spot in history like the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. Both announced its foundation on both liberty and equality. 

Much like America, Ireland also announced their coming fight for independence. However, while American founding fathers eventually became statesmen and leadership figures in American history, most of the signers of the Irish Proclamation spent their last moments facing a firing squad.

Attending the unveiling in Washington were Minister of State Kevin Moran and Senator Mark Daly, later honored in a ceremony by First Lady Melania Trump and White House staff acting Chief Mick Mulvaney.  Mr. Moran spoke at the ceremony stating, “The pledge acknowledges the unique and exceptional links between our two countries, and recognized the contribution that many Irish have made, and continue to make, to The United States of America.”

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