Today I went to our local St. Patrick’s Day parade. My daughter is in Girl Scouts and they marched in the parade.
Actually I wasn’t too excited about going. Yes the sun is out today in the Midwest, but it was only in the mid-30’s and there was a little wind. Stand in the shadows? You are quickly reminded it is still Winter.
Then there was the 50 minute wait in the parking lot. See, my son and I dropped off my wife and daughter so they could march in the parade. We hung around a bit too long and well, the parking lot we parked in? It was also the line up for the parade route.
With my son bored, and complaining that we will miss the parade…and the candy…I patiently waited and started to take pictures with my phone. My son just whined and played with the radio. Can’t say I blame him.
Because, why were all these different groups gathering to celebrate an Irish Religious Holiday?
It was an eclectic group that marched in the parade. From Politian’s, Bikers (Motorcyclist and Bicyclist), Girl Scouts, our Fire Department and our Police Department. And so many more.
And that got me thinking. I live in a city that has a diverse ethnic background. People of different backgrounds came out today to celebrate what has become in the United States, a very secular unofficial Holiday.
We come together to celebrate those immigrants who came from Ireland over a 100 years ago, and gave us their traditions as they adopted ours. We have done the same with Cinco de Mayo, and other ‘borrowed’ holidays.
In the United States we have become the refuge and hope of the world. A place that people from all over the world can chase their dreams and aspire to be the best they can be. We don’t always reach those dreams. Yet we try. And we cheer the stories of those who do.
We are a nation of immigrants of course. The World in One Nation.
St. Patrick’s Day has been taken over by Americans. Turned from a solemn religious celebration into a celebration of who we are now, what we have become.
You don’t have to be Irish to apply for the right to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It has become a tradition for all Americans. One that today, stuck in a parking lot for 50 minutes, I was reminded of.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone.