In Drogheda, north of Dublin, the site of the Battle of the Boyne, there is an old monument commemorating the Irish lost in the Great War. It has hundreds of names on it, listed by family, and by providence. And like all memorials, it's sad to see the lists and lists of those who died in war.
It was a time when the Irish were caught between being ruled and pushed to fight, and wanting instead to fight for their own independence to decide for themselves what to fight for. And it was a time when joining the military often meant the survival of families, as not much other work was even available. They say 200,000 Irish fought in that war and more than 30-thousand died in it.
But on that monument at the foot of Mary Street, as I was waiting with friends for a walking tour through town, I got looking at the names listed. And while I know my family came from Ireland, I guess I never really thought about their tough times here, fighting for survival with all the others here back then.
And there they were. The Meehans. It kind of offers a whole new perspective on Irish Heritage.