Last Saturday, March 12, our Irish friends jumped the gun and held their parade in celebration of St Patrick’s Day, which is actually on the 17th of March! The Irish must do what they have to do! Unfortunately, La Prensa San Diego did not have its annual piece ready and it wasn’t scheduled to run until today (March 18)! Nevertheless, better late than never. La Prensa San Diego feels responsible to bring to our readership the contributions that our Irish friends brought to our countrymen from Mexico.
March 17 has special meaning for the citizens of Mexico and to all those whose heritage is rooted in the Country of Mexico. We carry in our hearts and memories the Irish men who fought and died for their Catholic faith and for the Mexican people, who fought for their freedom and lives in the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848.
We can never forget, painful as it may be for those of us born in the United States, to have to recall that our own Government (The United States Government) went to war against Mexico in 1846 in an effort to take large parts of Mexican land for its own purpose. History has seen this action as nothing but a huge land grab carried out by the U.S. in an effort take control of all of North America. To achieve its goal, the U.S. Government conscripted the recent immigrant Irish, who had fled their country to escape the cruelties of the British Army during their occupation of Ireland. They flocked to America’s shores seeking a life with out fear. The U.S. eagerly accepted them.
It was not long after enlisting in the U.S. Army that the men began to see that they were fighting in a war that was actually anti-Catholic and dealt in injustice. They saw that the United States was carrying out a cruel land grab, reminiscent of the English occupation of Ireland. The looting and senseless killings of poorly armed Mexican civilians brought back to mind why they had fled their homeland Ireland to get away from the murdering of hapless Irish countrymen by the British forces. The Irishmen took the name of their Patron Saint (Saint Patricio) and abandoned the American forces and took sides with their Catholic brethren of Mexico! The history of these brave Irish men, who fought with Mexico for their independence and freedom, is well known in Mexico.
September 2005 is the 159th anniversary of the U.S. military executions of the San Patricio’s, mostly Irish immigrants who, abandoned the U.S. Army and became Mexican citizens. They were to fight in five major battles defending Mexican civilians, men, women, and children from the ravages carried out against them by the United States soldiers. These San Patricio’s (St. Patrick Battalion) gave their lives for the Catholic Church and the citizens of Mexico. The Mexicans call them “The Irish Martyrs” of the war of 1847 when the United States invaded Mexico and took by force almost half its territory.
As the war progressed, the Irish grouped in the San Patricio battalion, under a green banner with St Patrick and the Mexican eagle, distinguished themselves as artillery specialists and inflicted heavy casualties on the US invaders at the battles of Monterey and Buena Vista. The most devastating event in the Mexican history was the war with the USA.California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado and Montana were taken by military force.