A little Irish town has honored 10 of its citizens who served as U.S. soldiers buried in its tiny graveyard.
The village of Knocknagoshel in Kerry has close links with America and a U.S. Embassy military attache was on hand as the 10 locals who proudly wore the American uniform in different wars were remembered.
A retired major in the U.S. army Rico Stein, who was present, said it was vital to mark the sacrifices of those Irish who fought in American wars. “It’s like a mini-Arlington cemetery here,” he told The Irish Times. “The people buried here have never really been recognized.”
More than 100 people gathered on the hilltop ceremony, which was followed by a mass and the trooping of the colors.
This was the first such commemorative occasion in Ireland, and with the flying of American and Irish flags, Knocknagoshel had “taken its place among the nations of the earth,” local organizer Liam Lynch said. He was referring to a famous banner supporting Charles Stewart Parnell in the 1890s which read, “Arise Knocknagoshel and take your place among the nations of the earth.” The slogan became known worldwide .
Also attending were U.S. defense attache to Ireland, Lieut Col Shawn Purvis, the American Legion veterans’ organization and the Irish Organization Of National Ex-Servicemen/women.
Relatives of the deceased laid U.S. flags on the gravestones and the last post was played as well as an Irish lament.
Father Eoin Mangan, parish priest of Knocknagoshel, at the church service stated that the men being honored had "served with great pride and honor."
After the ceremony local women served over 400 who took part in the ceremonies in a local hall.
The 10 people honored on Saturday were: Denis Browne, U.S. army, Korea, died 1980; Michael Browne, U.S. army, Korea, died 1978; John Moynihan, U.S. army, second World War, died 1993; Thomas Murphy, died 1967; Jeremiah T O’Connor, U.S. army, died 1969; Jack (John) O’Connor, U.S. navy, died 1978; Michael D O’Connor, U.S. army, first World War, died 1979; Philip P O’Connor, U.S. army, first World War, died 1979; Tim (Thady) John O’Connor, U.S. army, first World War, died 1976; and Thomas J. O’Rourke, U.S. air force, Vietnam, died 1985.