Yesterday’s plan was to observe and walk behind the 1916 Societies’ Easter Commemoration parade, being a proper journalist and chronicling the march. Instead, upon arrival at the GPO, my traveling companion and I were handed the Cumann na mBan flag to hold while the two ladies it belonged to got to know us and socialized with other parade organizers. When the flag was taken up to join the others of the parade, the women invited us to join them in carrying the Constance Markievicz banner, and we were given pride of place near the very front of the march. It was an amazing experience and beyond my wildest imagination of what yesterday could be.
The march had at least 1,000 participants (regardless of what you may hear on RTE) and upon arrival at Arbour Hill, there were beautiful songs and a couple of speakers. Since we were still holding the banner, I failed in getting too many pictures, but I can tell you it was lovely. When the wind kicked up and rustled the trees around the graveside a brief hush fell. It was as if the spirits of the men we were there to remember were passing by for a visit and it sent goosebumps up and down my arms.
So I am sorry (Not Sorry) for failing to play the journalist and staying aloof about the experience, but I can count yesterday as one of the greatest of my life and I was super honored to have been adopted by amazing women and to be a Markievicz standard bearer. Later I met some of the leaders of the Save Moore Street campaign and listened to some amazing music with all my new friends. These are the memories that you can’t buy for all the money in the world, and I am all the richer for them.
Here are some of the very few pictures I snapped once we got to Arbour Hill. The sea of pipers was truly something to behold, as was the march. There will be another non-State sponsored parade tomorrow that we are looking forward to as well, since after yesterday’s event, we didn’t feel the need to fight the massive crowds in order to try to observe the State ceremony today. Perhaps that means I’ve failed at being the Irish American blogger/journalist twice, but I have no regrets about joining this Rising, instead of sitting on the sidelines. Hope your Easter is going well too.