Irish Americans Shouldn't Celebrate Victimhood

Famine memorials put too much emphasis on defeat and destruction
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2010 6:26 AM CDT
The Irish Hunger Memorial, Manhattan.   (Wikimedia)
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(Newser) – Irish Americans should be celebrating their successes tomorrow—and every day—instead of looking back to the potato famine that forced many of their ancestors across the Atlantic, writes William McGurn. The Irish have thrived and prospered in America, but in recent years, they've been celebrating that history by erecting famine memorials "that stress our victimhood." Earlier generations of Irish-Americans "didn't build monuments to their woes but, with their pennies, raised up St. Patrick's Cathedral."

Today, "we burnish grievances that our great-great-great-great-grandparents could be forgiven for having," McGurn writes in the Wall Street Journal. American's true monuments to the Irish should emphasize the hopeful side of the Irish experience and celebrate the "legacy of courage and sacrifice visible in, say, the prominence of Irish names among the 9/11 firemen who charged up the stairs of the Twin Towers when everyone else was running down."

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