Remarks by the First Lady to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

March 17, 2022

[As prepared for delivery.]

Thank you! It's my pleasure to welcome all of you—so many good friends—to the White House!

And we are pleased to welcome the Taoiseach of Ireland, Micheál Martin, and his wife Mary, as well as the Irish Delegation, to Washington, D.C.

To love Joe Biden is to know Ireland. Picture me on our first few dates, dressed in bell bottoms and a peasant shirt.

I wore my hair down to my waist—and at the time, so did most of the men I dated.

And then there was this Senator, handsome and buttoned up in his suit and loafers—casually quoting Yeats.

It was the last thing I expected—but in the end, he won me over.

It doesn't matter when Joe's ancestors left—a piece of that island was passed down to each generation in memories, and stories, and family lore, held close like a precious gem—an emerald heart that shines like the light after a storm.

It's a loyalty that knows "family" means forever.

A faith—tried and tested by famine and war.

An optimism brave enough to leave the life you know behind, and find what's waiting on distant shores.

He's not alone, of course.

Like so many generations of immigrants, Irish Americans brought the best of their home with them on wind and steam ships so many years ago.

Ridiculed and despised, they found ways to create new traditions, while never letting go of the legacies that made them, enriching our country along the way.

So it's fitting that we honor that heritage by celebrating Saint Patrick, a man who brought faith to Ireland, enriching it, too.

There has always been a divine spark in the open arms of welcome.

Yes, I got to know Ireland through the eyes of Joe Biden.

On St. Patrick's Day, all Americans, no matter their background, fall in love with it too.

We reach for a legacy buried deep inside of us—or gifted second-hand.

We celebrate a spirit that defies struggle.

We recognize the rich tapestry of our history—threads of clover green amid the red, white, and blue.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Jill Biden, Remarks by the First Lady to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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