The woke battalions, always spoiling for a fight, have succeeded in winning one in San Jose, California where the statue of Irishman Thomas Fallon, an American hero in the Mexican American War of 1846, has been jackhammered and relocated to a backyard somewhere. 

Fallon’s crime was that back in the 1840s against the Mexican forces, he had succeeded in capturing the vital area around present-day San Jose – and achieved it without firing a shot. 

His crime, it seems, was to then plant the American flag in the soil of land that was under dispute with Mexico. For that reason, the local woke community demanded and succeeded in getting the statue base reduced to rubble. 

The wokes did not pick their target well on this occasion. In fact, it looks like an act of reverse discrimination to remove a man for fighting for his country. 

The statue was put in place in 1990 by former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery, who takes his Irish roots seriously and then some. He pointed out that in the context of the era, Fallon’s refusal to even fire a shot marked him out at a very tense time. 

McEnery says removing the statue was a bad move. "Sins and oppression and mistakes, all of those happened under each flag, and they deserve to be excoriated and they have been," McEnery said. 

McEnery pointed out, and no one contradicted him, that Fallon was no bloody-minded imperialist but a man who subsequently became mayor of San Jose who greatly expanded the new city, Fallon had, by all accounts, carried out his duties with great fairness towards all. 

Despite this, the 12,000-pound Thomas Fallon sculpture has been a divisive issue ever since its installation in 1990. 

Soon after the statue was created, the battle to be rid of Fallon began. A few years ago, Dr. Gregorio Mora-Torres, a former San Jose State University Chicano studies professor, was asked by the San Jose City Council to write an opinion piece on the monument. 

"Do we honor somebody who was once a hero? But who for a lot of people was a villain?" Mora-Torres asked. 

The answer is yes, I believe, when you put it in the context of the times. 

Historians in support of the statue say Fallon is a founding father of the city of San Jose whose life story is inspirational. 

He left Ireland in 1821 at the age of six. His family settled in Ohio but the young man, a few years later, developed a wanderlust, joining the John C. Fremont expedition to California.

In June 1846, he raised a small group of volunteers, about 22 men, to fight in the Mexican-American War that had broken out. He and his small band crossed the Santa Cruz Mountains and captured the area now known as San Jose without firing a shot. 

Thus the statue depicted Fallon receiving and planting the American flag on California soil. 

Following the war, Fallon made a fortune in supplying shovels to the thousands of men rushing to the California gold rush. Later, he became mayor of San Jose and built a large mansion that still stands as a public museum today. 

So this modest hero has become a loser in the woke wars, erased out of existence by groups that clearly cannot accept that men such as Fallon were people of their time.

He responded with courage to the outbreak of war and helped create the modern United States. His reward is obliteration of his memory. 

Chalk up another win for the wokes. 

*This column first appeared in the April 26 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.