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For years, I’ve celebrated St. Patrick’s Day just like any other American by the wearing of the green, listening to Irish music and by decorating my house with shamrocks.
I always thought that I would be just like every other American citizen, forever stuck
celebrating with the same old routine until life, and the blessings that come with living,
decided to add some very blessed reasons why I should see my yearly routine in a very
In 1994, I was blessed with the birth of my daughter Kasey, now 18, who arrived on the
night of St. Patrick’s Day. As I held my pot of gold in my arms, little did I know that
years later, I would be passing on to her more than just my love. I would be passing on
our family history.
The story would unfold with help from relatives, of how we, the Mitchell’s, had come to
be of Scotch-Irish descent.
My great-great grandfather, John D. Mitchell and his family, had come over from County Kerry, Ireland like many other Irish immigrants. They had left their birthplace for one reason, and one reason only. They were in search of a new life, one they knew could be
found here, in America.
During the years he lived, his passion for America and for Ireland, would become evident during the years he served in the Civil War. He signed up with the 10th Tennessean Irish
Brigade, Company A, as a sharpshooter, and saw action during the entire war leading up
to the first day of the battle at Gettysburg. On that day, John was shot in the knee, and
knowing he was going to be captured, the story goes that my great-great grandfather hid
his riffle in a hollow log near him so that the enemy couldn’t steal it from him. To this day, we do not know if the gun has ever been found. What I do know about my great-great grandfather, is that he survived two prisoner of war camps after having been captured at Gettysburg, and despite walking with a limp the rest of his life due to his war injury, he would live out the rest of his days on a farm in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with
my great-great grandmother Eunice. There they passed on their love of life, farming, their Irish heritage, and their love of America with their children.
Their story has given me an even deeper appreciation for the holiday, and has instilled within me a thankful sense of pride, giving me a solid foundation for why I love
celebrating the St. Patrick’s Day holiday now, more than ever before. Since finding out the truth of my Irish heritage thanks to facts from my family tree, I’ve
proudly passed on my deeper reasons for loving the St. Patrick’s holiday to my daughter,
so that she may see her birthday as something more than just a day she came into the
As the day for loving all things green, of shamrocks, and of Celtic music rapidly
approaches, I can be found celebrating in front of a special wall of honor.
I will be there looking upon the picture of an Irish/American soldier hanging in my home. A reproduction copy of a painting, one of an unknown Irishman in a bold frame, staring
at me dressed in Civil War uniform, passionately holding the “Erin Go Braugh” flag. As I
return his gaze, I know that I am connected to the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, not just
because of my love of all things Irish, but because of reasons that go much deeper than
that, reasons being that of connection, from mother to daughter, from great-great
grandfather to myself.
May God Hold You All In The Palm Of His Hand As You Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!
Ms. Carrie Anne Mitchell Freelance Writer For Christ
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