General John Kelly on his Irish heritage and what the Irish have done for America. 

General John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, made an impassioned but little-noticed speech about his Irish heritage and what the US owes the Irish on March 10 this year at the Philadelphia Friendly Sons of St. Patrick's 247th annual St. Patrick’s Day gala.

His speech was carried in the local Irish Edition newspaper who noted that General Kelly stood patiently for several hours after his remarks, shaking hands and posing for pictures.

White House Chief of Staff, General John Kelly, was our Guest of Honor at the Society's 247th Annual Gala hosted at...

Posted by Friendly Sons of St. Patrick - Philadelphia, PA on Thursday, March 22, 2018

In his remarks, Kelly stated: “I just finished 45 1/2 years in the Marine Corps and it was my honor to serve my country. The United States Marine Corps was founded here in Philadelphia . . . our marines were known as "The Irish Soldiers”.

Here in Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, before this country was a country and into the Civil War [our wars were] fought by huge numbers of Irish.

The point is that the Irish, in large part, made this country what it is, I believe, and have defended this country in huge numbers in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the current wars, I am so proud to be here tonight, I am so proud just to say Erin go Bragh, Ireland Forever."

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Kelly, who was accompanied by his wife, Karen, lost a son, Robert Kelly, in the Afghan theater. He was raised in a working-class Boston suburb of Brighton.

Do you agree with General Kelly that the Irish made America what it is today? Share your thoughts in the comment section. 

General John Kelly speaking at the 247th Friendly Sons of St. Patrick gala. Tom Keenan / Irish Edition