Mayor Carlo DeMaria led the City of Everett’s Irish Flag-Raising Ceremony Saturday outside Everett City Hall in observance of Irish American Heritage Month which is held each March and is highlighted by the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.
“Today is part of our ongoing efforts in Everett to celebrate the history and the cultures that have helped build our community into the vibrant city that we enjoy today,” said DeMaria. “For many generations, a significant portion of our residents were of Irish heritage. And while the number of cultures has expanded in our community, and our diversification continues to grow, it’s important that we still celebrate and remember our residents and families who share the Irish heritage.
“As the Irish poet Seamus Haney wrote: Hope is not optimism, which expects things to turn out well, but something rooted in the conviction that there is good worth working for.
“Even when Ireland faced its epic tragedy of The Great Potato Famine, the Irish people did not lose hope. They set their fears aside and with their belief that they would find a better life, the Irish came to America and settled in places like Boston and Everett.
“That lesson still holds true today,” said DeMaria. “We should try to hold onto our conviction that building a bright, positive future for all our families in Everett is something working for.”
Rep. Joseph McGonagle, who served in the Legislature with current U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Claire Cronin, also spoke at the ceremony.
“Whenever I think of my family immigrating from the tiny coastal town at the northernmost point of Ireland, Malin Head in County Donegal, I’m astounded by their courage to leave their home for a new land to create opportunities for generations to come, just like the immigrants of today,” said McGonagle.
“Whether you are a first-or-fifth-generation Irish immigrant, it’s important that we continue to honor the culture and make room for everyone at the table. Everett is an incredible blend of different heritages and backgrounds, the Irish among them, and I am thrilled when we can all come together at events like this to honor not just our individual backgrounds, but our blended community as a whole. Thank you and slainte!” concluded McGonagle.
The Rev. Adriano Tezone, spiritual leader of Saint Anthony’s Parish, delivered the opening prayer and invocation at the ceremony.