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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 12, 2002

Presidential Message: St. Patrick's Day

I am pleased to send warm greetings to all those celebrating St. Patrick's Day.

On this day, millions of people in Ireland and throughout the world will gather to commemorate the life of Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. From his days as a slave in Ireland to his work as a missionary years later, St. Patrick demonstrated a courage, commitment, and faith that won the hearts and minds of the Irish people. St. Patrick's Day also serves as a time for people of Irish descent from all traditions and religions to honor their native land and shared heritage.

This celebration is particularly important in the United States, as we recognize the contributions of the millions of Irish-Americans who immigrated to our shores from the earliest years of our Republic. They dedicated themselves to the challenges of building America and achieved success and prosperity. The industry, talent, and imagination of the Irish have enriched our economy and culture. Their strong record of public service has fortified our democracy. And their devotion to family, faith, and community has strengthened our country's character.

On St. Patrick's Day, Americans from every background join in celebrating the rich culture of the Irish and our continued friendship with the people of Ireland. Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a memorable celebration.

March 7, 2002

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