Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Rising Commemoration

Today was the 95th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, the start of the Irish Revolution. I went to the commemoration celebration held in front of one of the main sites of the Rising, the General Post Office on O'Connell Street. For some reason, while I generally find grand shows of patriotism cringe-inducing in the States, I love going to them here in Ireland. Maybe because it's a young country with a very recent turbulent past, or because they always have great songs and good outfits. Is that patronizing?

This one was lovely; attended by both the Taoiseach and the President (that's another thing I like - such a small country, so anyone can go to an event and see the head of state/leader in person). It was interestingly somewhat bilingual - certain parts were said in English and certain in Irish, but none said in both, which I thought was an interesting choice. Most of the native Irish speakers would understand both, of course, but I was lost occasionally.

There were also military bands, uniforms left and right, and a bagpiper in an awesome orange kilt.

The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.
-Extract from from the 1916 Proclamation 

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