They say that today, we are all Irish. Let us consider how maligned, distrusted and mistreated the Irish were upon on their arrival in our country. They came here to escape terrible conditions at home. They came here sick, uneducated, malnourished, and unskilled. They came here as religious outsiders. They were “the other” and yet now we cannot imagine our American experience without them. Even as they were reviled and discriminated against in the northeastern port cities, they died in the many thousands for their adopted nation during the civil war. They broke their backs connecting the continent doing railroad jobs others wouldn’t do. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all Irish Americans! And to all of our more recent immigrants: TAKE COURAGE. We will get there – together.