On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Ireland as you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this March 17. Today, we honor the rich history and cultural heritage of the Irish people and reflect on the bonds of friendship and family between our two nations.
Irish contributions to America have shaped American culture from the founding of our nation. Eight of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were Irish-Americans and half of our American Presidents have been of Irish descent. Countless Irish-Americans fought bravely during the Civil War, giving their lives for a better America. Throughout our society, Irish Americans have contributed in ways large and small to the bedrock of American life.
The depth and scope of Irish influence throughout the world is immeasurable and exemplifies your rich history and culture. As you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in cities from Dublin to Detroit, know that the United States stands with you. Congratulations and best wishes for a year of peace and prosperity.