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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monuments

Today I saw an interesting editorial in The Wall Street Journal. In this, William McGurn talks about the recent trend in monuments commemorating the famine in Ireland. Mr. McGurn tells us that these monuments focus on victimhood. Yes, times were bad, and the potato blight in Ireland in the mid-19th century resulted in an influx of Irish immigrants into our country.

These people took jobs and helped build St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York and many other churches. The priests and nuns built a parochial school system that ushered millions of Irish into the American dream and today that often is the only hope for a black or Latino child to achieve that dream.

Even here, the Irish faced discrimination, but they kept working and many succeeded. They were the backbone of the various police and fire departments in the country. Mr. McGurn was saying that the successes of the Irish immigrants are the true monuments. That should be the emphasis, not the famine.

After reading this, I started thinking that all over we see signs of victimhood. Too many people dwell on their problems instead of looking for solutions. They are pessimists, they suffer from colds, flu on a lesser scale and they suffer from the economy, their neighbor's success.

It's time that we stopped allowing ourselves to be victims and start being successes, one step at a time. Maybe then, we'll return to erecting monuments to the good things in life. The potato blight forced many Irish to leave their homes for a new and better life in America. Let's build a monument to their success in America.

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