Those of Irish descent, those who wished they were Irish, or those who just like to celebrate the Irish culture were able to join Student Senate on March 14 for an Irish American Heritage celebration. The college commons, decorated in vibrant shades of green, and playing lively Irish folk music, helped put all who attended, into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day.
What many people don’t realize is that the famous patron saint of Ireland was not Irish or even from Ireland. Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders, and taken to Ireland as a slave, where he spent numerous years herding sheep. Even more intriguing was the fact that the color associated with St. Patrick was actually blue. Patrick’s wardrobe consisted of blue garments. Over time the color evolved to green to represent the holiday. Saint Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. During a 1798 rebellion, Irish soldiers donned full green uniforms on March 17 to make a political statement, and to catch public attention. This became known as the “wearing of the green,” which has become part of the St. Patrick’s Day tradition. Of course, green also reminds one of the emerald countryside of Ireland.
Cassandra Andrusyszyn, a student senate member, and proud of her Irish background, shared stories of her heritage with guests lined up for free potato soup, soda bread, corn beef, and other refreshments.
“This event was originally scheduled for Wednesday (March 12). It was a shame we had to reschedule because of the weather. But we really wanted people to be able to join us for this celebration,” said Andrusyszyn. At the end of the table was a large trifold presentation board, displaying Ireland’s history.
Another Irish LCCC student, Steven Temple, shared his family background while he enjoyed the potato soup and soda bread.
“My Grandmother’s Mother came from Ireland,” said Temple, “My brother and I are going to Ireland when he turns 21. We’re going to the Temple bar which is named after our ancestors.”
Student Senate also had a table promoting Scoliosis Awareness. In keeping with the “green,” Student Senate member, Keigan Russell, presented lime green scoliosis arm bands for any donation to the National Scoliosis Foundation. Russell felt privileged to be supporting this cause in combination with the St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
For those who missed the Student Senate celebration, other activities in and around the Cleveland area will abound for St. Patrick’s Day on Monday, March 17. (Trivia buffs, take note that Cleveland has the third largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the nation.*) And remember, on St. Patrick’s Day everyone is Irish. So in keeping with tradition, may this Irish blessing warm you: ‘May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again.’”
*Did you know that a total of 21 American presidents have been Irish. Here are a couple of websites for those who can’t get enough trivia about St. Patrick’s Day.