Friendly Sons, Songs of Freedom, and “The 32”!

The thirty two flags that flew in the courtyard of the Shiley auditorium at USD created a festive and colorful backdrop for the cocktail hour before the “Songs of Freedom” concert Saturday evening to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. People delighted in finding the flag of the county where they, or their ancestors, were born and snapping a photo with It.

The display and the Four Provinces flag in the foyer also conveyed a subtle political message as well, i.e., that the six counties of Northern Ireland are still considered part of the Irish nation and will ever be. We continue to pray and work for their peaceful reunification with the Irish Republic.

The ex-pats put on one helluva show. The Irish Consul, Mr. Philip Grant, spoke briefly about the Rising and pointed out that America was the only country mentioned by name in the Proclamation*. Pearse and his comrades in both pen and in arms were shouting to the world, “We want to be free!”. What better example to cite than America. ‘Land of the free… because of the brave.”

After the concert, two people won two round-trip, first-class tickets on Aer Lingus to Dublin. The Consul pulled a third name to take to dinner when next he next visits San Diego. He remarked about the fantastic Irish spirit in San Diego and the amazing cooperation between the various Irish groups. He mentioned that he uses San Diego’s Irish community as an example to emulate in other places he visits. That’s us boyos!

The after-concert party at Dan Diego’s was packed. The band members were there and the conversation and craic flowed with spirited ease. It would be impossible to count the number of compliments the Friendly Sons received for our outstanding support and attendance at this event. (Take a bow, Mr. O’Connell.)

We hope to see you at the next outing. Till then, may He hold you in the hollow of His hand.

“IRISHMAN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.

Having organized and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organization, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organizations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and, supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory.”