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Saturday, March 15, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Statement from John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State


Here is a statement by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry regarding St. Patrick's Day:

The American people join Irish people all over the world in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.

Today, we look back with pride on Irish contributions to America’s history and cultural heritage. But we also look forward as Irish immigrants continue to renew America and remind us of our common roots. President Obama said it best: “There’s always been a little green behind the red, white, and blue.” I couldn’t agree more. As a former Senator from Massachusetts, home to one of the largest Irish-American populations in our country, I hold a special appreciation of what Ireland means to America.

There are many Irish immigrants who have helped write America’s story with their incredible success. Today, we honor them and the next generation of leaders on both sides of the Atlantic who are supporting this vital relationship.

Our partnership is broader and deeper than ever before. We’re working together to promote civil society, science and technology, education, and entrepreneurship. We’re also forging new academic and professional partnerships and pursuing opportunities through delegations, such as the one led by Special Representative Drew O’Brien to Limerick and Belfast in January.

Our investments in peace and prosperity will continue to strengthen the bonds between Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United States, and promote economic growth in both our countries.

We often remark that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. In the words of Ireland’s great poets, to the island’s outsized place in world history, to the powerful example it sets for the world, there is a heritage for us all to celebrate.

On this joyous holiday, we offer the people of Ireland our warmest wishes and look forward to strengthening the Irish–American relationship for years to come.

President Obama's Remarks at St. Patrick's Day Reception at the White House, March 14, 2014




President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, along with Vice President Joe Biden, welcomed Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny and his wife Finnuala to the White House on Friday, March 14, 2014. 

Earlier in the day, President Obama and Prime Minister Kenny met to discuss issues of mutual interest, including progress in Northern Ireland and immigration.  Here are comments.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

President Barack Obama Declares Irish-American Heritage Month, 2014


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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Centuries after America welcomed the first sons and daughters of the Emerald Isle to our shores, Irish heritage continues to enrich our Nation. This month, we reflect on proud traditions handed down through the generations, and we celebrate the many threads of green woven into the red, white, and blue.

Irish Americans have defended our country through times of war, strengthened communities from coast to coast, and poured sweat and blood into building our infrastructure and raising our skyscrapers. Some endured hunger, hardship, and prejudice; many rose to be leaders of government, industry, or culture. Their journey is a testament to the resilience of the Irish character, a people who never stopped dreaming of a brighter future and never stopped striving to make that dream a reality.

Today, Americans of all backgrounds can find common ground in the values of faith and perseverance, and we can all draw strength from the unshakable belief that through hard work and sacrifice, we can forge better lives for ourselves and our families.

The American and Irish peoples enjoy a friendship deepened by both shared heritage and shared ideals. On the international stage, we are proud to work in concert toward a freer, more just world. As we honor that enduring connection during Irish-American Heritage Month, let us look forward to many more generations of partnership. May the bond between our peoples only grow in the centuries to come.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2014 as Irish-American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.