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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 17, 2003

Presidential Message: St. Patrick's Day

I send greetings to those celebrating St. Patrick's Day.

On this day, we honor the life of Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, and celebrate the rich history of the Emerald Isle. St. Patrick escaped from slavery and dedicated his life to helping others through his words and actions. His example of courage, determination, and faith captured the hearts of the Irish and continues to inspire countless people around the world.

In the United States, this day gives us an opportunity to recognize the vital contributions of Irish Americans. Throughout our history, America has welcomed millions of Irish immigrants to our country. These individuals have transformed our national identity and strengthened our families, our communities, and our national character.

Today, approximately one in four Americans can trace their ancestry in part to Ireland's green shores. We are proud of our deep and lasting ties to Ireland and are grateful for the many Irish Americans who continue to enrich our Nation.

Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a happy St. Patrick's Day.


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