Message on the Observance of St. Patrick's Day

March 12, 1982

Nancy and I are delighted to wish a warm and wonderful St. Patrick's Day to everyone.

Even today in the Irish countryside you can see the words ``Gone to America'' on old houses. The Emerald Isle has given much to the world, but she has blessed America abundantly with her most precious gift: her children. And like so many of the indomitable Irish, the Reagan family came to the United States seeking the liberty and bounty of this great land.

Every American gratefully acknowledges the many contributions of Irish Americans in every walk of life down through our nation's history. But, most of all, the sons and daughters of Erin upheld a fine old Irish tradition by making their mark in American letters and politics.

Just as St. Patrick lit the fire of faith in Ireland centuries ago, so, more recently, has the Statue of Liberty's torch of freedom ignited the spirit of liberty in his countrymen. This special link and appreciation have engendered the mutual affection between both lands for many years. On this St. Patrick's Day, let us fervently wish that America and Ireland will continue to be friends as long as the hills are green.

Ronald Reagan