Message on the Observance of St. Patrick's Day, 1984

March 14, 1984

Nancy and I wish everyone a joyous St. Patrick's Day. For the Irish and all the sons and daughters of Erin the world over, this is truly a festive day filled with pride and renewed hope for the future. It gives us an occasion to acknowledge the special qualities brought to our shores by those who traveled from distant and lovely Ireland.

Like so many of the Irish before and after him, my great-grandfather, Michael Reagan, heard, in the words of a favorite song, ``. . . a whisper of a country that lies beyond the sea, where rich and poor stand equal in the light of freedom's day.'' He and millions like him left home and family in Ireland to make their way to this country. While they came seeking the bounty of America, they brought with them a rich Irish heritage, a strong faith in God, and a love of liberty. They came imbued with sustaining talents great enough to make them an integral part of their new home and to spark a nurturing and enduring friendship between the peoples of Ireland and America.

The annual observance of St. Patrick's Day provides a fine opportunity for all of us to warm our hearts in remembrance of the bonds of history, family, and tradition that have come to us from the Emerald Isle. We join Irish Americans throughout the land in celebrating their truly singular contribution to our way of life.

Ronald Reagan