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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 13, 1996

Saint Patrick's Day

Warmest greetings to everyone celebrating Saint Patrick's Day.

On this feast day of the patron saint of Ireland, we remember with gratitude the gifts of the Irish people. For generations, the sons and daughters of Ireland have come to America seeking a new life and a new freedom, bringing with them a deep faith in God, a profound love of liberty, and a determination to help
shape the American Dream.

As soldiers and scholars, poets and Presidents, Irish Americans have enriched every facet of American society. Today we honor their many accomplishments, their vital contributions in building the cities, industries, and culture of America, and the long friendship and close ties between the United States and Ireland.

Like millions of Americans, I rejoice in my Irish heritage; and like millions of Americans, I pray for lasting peace in the land of our ancestors. We must not permit the process of reconciliation in Northern Ireland to be destroyed by those who are blinded by the hatreds of the past. As we pay tribute to Saint Patrick's enduring message of faith and courage, I salute the people of Ireland for their devotion to defeating the enemies of peace. In this age of hope and possibility, I am confident that their steadfast efforts will be rewarded with lasting tranquillity and the blessings of a bright future.

Best wishes to all for a wonderful holiday.