Should St Patrick’s Day be set aside as a day to honor police and firefighters?

In an op-ed in the Providence Journal, Bob Sweeney, of Warwick, RI suggests that March 17 should be set aside as “a day of appreciation” for law enforcement officers and fire service personnel.

Sweeney writes: “Most Americans take for granted a certain level of law and order and property protection. This is not an easy task to achieve, as hazardous incidents occur constantly that require a quick response. In many cases, the lives and health of public safety officers who respond are at risk.

“Last year, 124 law enforcement officers and 85 fire service personnel were killed in on-duty incidents. Over the past 10 years, an average of 200 officers annually lost their lives and over 150,000 were injured in both services

Sweeney goes on to say that he wants March 17, St. Patrick's Day, “set aside a day of appreciation" for these men and women. He adds the day is "celebrated nationally but is not an official government holiday."

He connects the day with Irish immigrants’ historic role in these positions.

“The day is fitting for many reasons. Irish immigrants once formed a large percent of the total enrollment, and many of [the] men and women in both services will be marching in full uniform in parades,” says Sweeney.

“We can applaud or lift a toast, and declare that we truly value all our men and women who serve us daily and wish each of them a safe and healthy new year ahead. The time is long overdue."

Do you think St Patrick’s Day should be set aside to honor cops and firefighters? Let us know in the comments section.

Read more: Gospel on NYPD cops according to Luke

The Boston Police Gaelic Column march in Boston's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.AP Photo/Michael Dwyer