They came, not as a mob but as individual citizens, one by one.
They were not the privileged few but the America of old, some tried, some tired, some little noticed, all true. They came, the grateful of the Nation, privileged only in that this Nation keeps them free.
They came, the young, with a touch class and a bit of flash.
They came, the younger still, with hearts and flags and wishes.
They came, determined and undeterred.
Flag- draped and be-signed, they gathered.
With humor and with gravity….
They raised the Nation’s voice.
Eloquent in its simplicity……
Commanding in its brevity!
They came, one by one.
Not without a message….
Not without surity…….
Not without encouragement….
Not without support…….
They gathered, one by one, until they were a people gathered as one.
The Anchoress will catch this first-hand, but for the rest of us, have a look-see:
Writing for newsday.com, John Valenti says, ” More than 1,100 soldiers from the New York National Guard’s Fighting 69th kicked off Manhattan‘s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade Tuesday morning along Fifth Avenue……With its largest parade contingent ever, the Fighting 69th was led by Ranger Seth Morgulas, 38, of Manhattan, an NYPD mounted contingent, a bagpiper and four formations of troops dressed in Army desert fatigues and black berets adorned with boxwoods — in remembrance of plants worn by unit soldiers for the North back in the Civil War.”
The 69th, first formed in 1849 as the 9th Regiment of the New York State Militia, is an Irish-heritage unit — and has anchored the nation’s best-known St. Patrick’s Day celebration since 1851. Legend in battle dating to the Civil War, where its soldiers harkened a battle cry of “Fág An Bealach” — Gaelic for “Clear the Way” — the contingent from the Fighting 69th this year included 319 soldiers who returned in January from Afghanistan.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade.com: “The parade marches up 5th Avenue, clan by clan, from 44th to 86th streets starting at 11am on St. Patrick’s Day (Tuesday, March 17th)…..The first official parade in the City was held in 1766 by Irishmen in a military unit recruited to serve in the American colonies.”