March 17 Letter to the Carlisle Sentinel Editor

A salute to the mayor

Dear Editor:

Rarely does a citizen have the opportunity to praise a public official for something done right, but today I want to do just that and explain how the actions of our local mayor placed little Carlisle ahead of the entire state in terms of recognizing a valuable asset and heritage of his local community.

I serve as the president of the local Ancient Order of Hibernians, a not for profit organization established to promote its Catholic and Irish heritage and beliefs and to protect against any attacks or criticism of that proud heritage. We are a very small organization in this community, but are proud of our community, its strong Irish American Heritage and the charitable and patriotic accomplishments of these valued members of this community.

Our Division namesake is General William Thompson, a revolutionary war hero born in Ireland, who lived and died in Carlisle and is buried in the old town cemetery. Our organization was formed to fight discrimination against Catholics and Irish in the early days of the formation of this country. Thompson saw the need for us all to unite as a people and he led Protestants, Catholics and Jew in a common cause and explained how we would someday have to live together as brothers. His Continental Rifles became known as the Irish Line, a united and effective fighting force.

On the 9th of February 2012, long before anyone else was thinking about St. Patrick’s Day and the contributions of the Irish to their local communities, William Kronenberg, new Mayor of Carlisle, took the opportunity to declare March “Irish American Heritage Month” by Official Proclamation.

He said “Carlisle is rich in the Gaelic culture having been settled by Irish Immigrants who lived in Carlisle and farmed the Cumberland Valley.” He led the Commonwealth in making this proclamation and many have followed since, but little Carlisle was first to make this recognition and we as people of Irish Descent appreciate his actions and recognition of our people and our heritage.

At this time of year when being Irish is often depicted by drunkenness, green plastic shamrocks and insulting and debasing caricatures of the Irish People and our Catholic Faith, it is nice to have someone recognize what the Irish people are really all about; pride in their heritage and faith, service to community and love of freedom, country and God. go raibh míle maith agat (Thank you very Much).

Thomas Kane

Carlisle

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