2011-11-25 / Letters

St. Patrick’s Parade Honorees

Dear Editor,

On Monday, November 14, I attended the monthly meeting of the Queens St. Patrick’s Day [Parade] Committee. As a member of the committee for the past fifteen years I have had the privilege of serving with many dedicated and knowledgeable people who selflessly donate their time and expertise in an effort to deliver a fitting tribute to the Patron Saint of New York City and Ireland, Patrick. For the past 36 years, with the help of local businesses and residents, this committee has been successful in putting on a great parade which has grown to become the second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the State of New York.

Before leaving last week’s parade committee meeting I was given a rather pleasant task. With the selection process completed, I was asked to inform Mrs. Mary Jane Murray that she had been selected as a Deputy Grand Marshal of the 2012 Queens St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Having known Mrs. Murray since she and her family moved to Rockaway many years ago, I can tell you that Mrs. Murray is indeed deserving of this honor. Her dedication to duty is apparent as she braves all kinds of adverse weather conditions while protecting the children who cross the street at her post. Mrs. Murray passed her dedication to duty on to her own children, two of whom serve as officers in the United States Navy.

On Wednesday, the 16th of November I drove by Mrs. Murray’s post and informed her of the committee’s wish that she serve as Deputy Grand Marshal for the 2012 Queens St. Patrick’s Day Parade and she seemed delighted! With my task completed I went about my business with a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

As usual, I picked up my copy of The Wave on Friday and turned to the Letters section. Given the events of the previous few days, you can imagine my shock and revulsion when I came across the letter entitled, “An Absolute Disgrace.”

The writer, Anne Sullivan, admits that she is ignorant of the committee’s selection process but she does not let that fact stand in the way of high handed, insulting rant. Anne Sullivan leaves no room for misinterpretation in her letter. Her use of the words “absolute disgrace,” in describing the committee and/or its actions, is quite unambiguous.

While our parade is held here in Rockaway Park and Belle Harbor, it has been webcast around the world to great acclaim. While our honorees are drawn primarily from the local community, we are regularly honored by dignitaries who arrive from Ireland to attend our parade. So no, Anne Sullivan, our selection process will not be limited by your narrow view!

This committee is not an absolute disgrace as you assert! The actions of this committee are not disgraceful but honorable and visionary. Who are you anyway and what have you done for the Irish, Irish/American community that places you above all of the dedicated members of the committee?

It is often said of the Irish, Irish/ Americans that we engage in too much infighting. It is my observation that if little people like Anne Sullivan were not so judgmental this condition would be greatly alleviated. Perhaps in the future Anne Sullivan will check her facts before she presumes to pass judgment upon a group about which she admittedly knows very little.

I too would like to be unambiguous. This letter is my opinion and not necessarily that of my fellow committee members, although I suspect many of them would share my view.

ED SHEVLIN

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