Friendship, Loyalty and Love at Ground Zero

Friendship, Loyalty and Love at Ground Zero

Members of the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums on the 9/11 Memorial on September 11, 2011. Photo by Jin Lee.

With sounds of bagpipes resonating along Fifth Avenue and sights of shamrocks and green, today marks the city’s 255th St. Patrick’s Day Parade. St. Patrick’s Day is a day many Irish-Americans celebrate their heritage. What some may not realize is that many of those celebrating today have close ties to the World Trade Center site.

The bond between the Irish and New York City has been long withstanding, and the events of 9/11 have only strengthened that bond. Roughly 1,000 people with Irish roots died in the attacks, and the New York City police and fire departments have historically shown a high number of Irish-Americans among their ranks. Following the attacks, the contributions of Irish-Americans from rescue and recovery to the re-building efforts have been vast.

Approximately 200 Claddagh rings were reclaimed from ground zero after 9/11. The Claddagh ring is an Irish symbol of friendship, loyalty and love. Similar to the Claddagh ring, rescue and recovery workers at the World Trade Center site have embodied just that—comradery, love and dedication. Through recovery and then rebirth, the Irish-American presence at the WTC site has not faltered.

Thousands of spectators are expected to line Fifth Avenue, with the parade starting at 11 a.m. on 44th Street and ending at 79th Street. It’s expected to end about 4:30 p.m.

By Angela Sheridan, Director of Web & Digital Strategy